Panizzi and Madden - British Library Research Repository
Shared Research Repository
Journal article

Panizzi and Madden



IN a publication celebrating Antonio Panizzi's centenary, an article on his dealings with his mortal enemy, Sir Frederic Madden, the Keeper of Manuscripts, might seem to strike a jarring note. They nevertheless make a tale well worth the telling. The epic feud between these two great public servants is a fascinating, if unedifying, episode in the history of the British Museum. Panizzi's side has been told: Madden was a splenetic fuss-pot who obstructed him at every opportunity through jealousy and irrational hatred. Madden's version, set down in his diary- over thirty years, portrays Panizzi, 'the Italian dog' as a cunning, scheming charlatan consumed with personal ambition and malice towards himself. There is some truth in both these caricatures. Panizzi dealt with opposition like a mafioso, and Madden's dislike of him turned into an obsessive hatred that made his own life at the Museum a misery. But their relationship seems to have begun equably enough.


There is 1 file associated with this work, which is available for download.


  • Resource type

    Journal article

  • Institution
    • British Library

  • Journal title
    • British Library Journal

  • Volume
    • 1979

  • Article number
    • 2

  • Publisher
    • British Library

  • Place of publication
    • London, UK

  • ISSN
    • 2056-2829

  • Official URL
  • Rights statement
  • Rights holder
    • British Library Board