Heber, Richard (1774–1833)

Book-collector. Son of Reginald Heber, clergyman and landowner. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (BA 1796, MA, 1797). Heber edited some minor classical writers, but his main interest was his book collection, which finally totalled over 100,000 volumes housed in eight different locations. Though he concentrated on early English poetry and drama his library included classical works and a wide selection of European and Latin American literature. Heber was exceptionally generous in lending his books, and let Southey use his copy of Amadis of Gaul. Heber was MP for Oxford University 1821–1825, but resigned and spent several years on the continent after rumours of a homosexual relationship began to circulate. However, he was never prosecuted and eventually returned to England.

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