James Lackington Bibliography

Memoirs of the First Forty-Five Years of the Life of James Lackington 1794
"Apprenticed to a cobbler, Lackington became a Methodist and set about educating himself, going without food to buy books. In 1774 he moved to London, working as a cobbler. On his first London Christmas he went to get Christmas dinner - but bought instead a copy of Edward Young's Night Thoughts (1742-5). Becoming a bookseller and selling with small profits, he increased the value of his stock to œ25 within six months. In 1779, he published his first catalogue, listing a stock of 12,000 volumes. By the 1790s, when his annual sales were counted in tens of thousands of volumes, he proclaimed: "I found the whole of what I am possessed of, in Small Profits, bound by Industry, and clasped by Economy". (Roy Porter, Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World, 2000, p.507)