Edward Wilson-Lee on Christopher Columbus, His Son and the Quest to Build the World’s Greatest Library

  • 11/20/2019
  • 5:00 PM
  • Union League Club, Union League Club, 65 West Jackson


  • Speaker and speaker's guest; event administrator, A/V technician
  • Program only, does not include the meal.


November Dinner

Two venerable institutions – one exciting event – The ULCC Leighton Library is pleased to partner with the Caxton Club to welcome British scholar, Edward Wilson-Lee as he leads you into the strange and wonderful world of Hernando Colón, younger and illegitimate son of the explorer Columbus, who set out to equal and surpass his father's achievement by building the greatest library the world had ever known. Hernando played many roles during his life--companion on his father's final and fateful expedition, chronicler of his father's life, cartographer, lexicographer, courtier and botanist--but his true passion was for books, which he collected on a scale previously unimagined. Hernando's life was not just a voyage into the new and rapidly expanding world of print, though: it was also a race against time, to complete his knowledge engine and rescue his father's memory before it was too late.

“The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books” will be on sale for signing during the cocktail hour and after the dinner for $18. Books can be pre-ordered when making a reservation.

To celebrate Caxton Club’s 17 years of grant giving for book arts, bibliography, zines, and print culture studies, the following Chicago book artists will be displaying their work during the cocktail reception starting at 5:00 pm in the George N. Leighton Library:

Hannah Batsel | Ben Blount | Melissa Jay Craig | Jennifer Farrell | Ken Gerleve | Karen Hanmer | Craig Jobson | Audrey Niffeneger | Mardy Sears | Jamie Weaver | Don Widmer

The cocktail reception (5-6pm) and program (6pm) will be followed immediately by dinner. Beverages available for $6-$12. Three-course dinner: $66. Reservations are required and must be received no later than NOON, Monday, November 18. Payment will be required for dinner reservations cancelled after that time and for no-shows. Reserve at caxtonclub.org, call 312-255-3710, or e-mail caxtonclub@newberry.org


c/o The Newberry Library
60 W. Walton Street
Chicago, IL  60610

Tel: +1 (312) 255-3710