“Dulac introduced me to Hans Anderson, Rackham to ‘Rip Van Winkle’ and Walter Crane to ‘Tanglewood Tales’, all of which had a profound influence on me. To this day Hans Andersen’s story of the little mermaid moves me like a symphony, and ‘The Emperor’s Nightingale’ awakened an interest in things Chinese which developed into an obsession. The power in these tales was less in the telling than in their capacity to stir the imagination.”(16)
Harold Acton, Memoirs of an Aesthete.
Of the 12,000 books housed in the Acton family library in Villa La Pietra, about 200-300 of them are children’s books, the majority of which are located in the Garret – a secondary location from an overflow put in storage by the family – and a selection of oversized volumes in the Upstairs library left in their original shelf by Harold Acton.