Preface records that the author he began when he was eighteen the practice of noting down passages fro whatever books I happened to be reading. No, at over eighty, the collection runs to several thousands. I did this in order to have at hand a record of ideas and phrases which seemed to me noteworthy and to which I might want some day to recur, and not with any thought of publicatin. But it occurred to me a few years ago that other people might be interested in a Book of Quotations made out of this material; so I condensed it by about half, and arranged the entries under suitable headings, with full indexes of subjects and authors.
The book appeared in 1947 (p.v.); ends with dedication to his wife in gratitude for all her labour in copying and preserving, during vbery many years, those continually accumulating notes, and so providing the material which has been the basis of this collection. (p.vi.) [Book in possession of Craig McGrath].