From amassing sacred relics to collecting celebrity memorabilia, the impulse to hoard has gripped humankind throughout the centuries. But what is it that drives people to possess objects that have no conceivable use? To Have and To Hold is a captivating tour of collectors and their treasures from medieval times to the present, from a cabinet containing unicorn horns and a Tsar's collection of teeth to the macabre art of embalmer Dr. Frederick Ruysch, the fabled castle of William Randolph Hearst, and the truly preoccupied men who stockpile food wrappers and plastic cups. Blom's gripping narration and bizarre cast of eccentrics, visionaries, and fanatics provide a fascinating glimpse into how a pastime becomes an all consuming passion and an engrossing story of the collector as bridegroom, deliriously, obsessively happy, wed to his possessions, till death do us part.
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Philipp Blom was born in Hamburg in 1970. After studying in Vienna and Oxford, he worked in publishing as a journalist and translator in London and in Paris, where he now lives.
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