A commonplace book is basically a scrapbook, and was originally often a collection of wisdom. The first known commonplace book (above) was compiled by a Venetian merchant.

I became interested in commonplace books when I discovered two references to them in one week–one in a biography of Jonathan Edwards and the other in a book by Anne Fadiman.  The author of this particular commonplace book is a wife, mother, reader, and sometime artist in Torino, Italy.

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