'Extraordinary' collection of books donated to Cambridge college
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Trinity College Cambridge given 'extraordinary' book collection

An "extraordinary" collection of books has been bequeathed to Trinity College in Cambridge by the aunt of the former University Challenge presenter Bamber Gascoigne.

Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, left more than 7,000 books - including first editions by Wordsworth, Shelley and Byron.

She died in 2014, aged 99, and kept some of the rarest, undiscovered works in an old blue suitcase.

Mr Gascoigne said it was "a delight" to see the books in their new home.

The former TV presenter, who inherited the duchess' home, said the collection contained "treasures and rarities unknown to anyone".

It was "thrilling", he said, "that they will from now on be available to everyone".

The duchess' bequest included previously unknown manuscripts by Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, Florence Nightingale and Charles Dickens.

The duchess' father, Robert Crewe-Milnes, and grandfather, Richard Monckton Milnes, both studied at Trinity before embarking on political careers.

  • 16 Dec 2016