In 2006, the National Library of Norway enacted an ambitious plan to digitize every book in its holdings by 2020. The idea is that all of the content (even works under copyright) will be accessible to people logging into the system with a Norwegian IP address.
Lord Byron is perhaps our most prominent example of an extravagant writer in a bygone age. There’s a reason his antics earned him a popular adjective. However, he’s not the only writer from long ago to live large, as made clear in this New Yorker piece by Elizabeth Kolbert -- inspired by the release of two new biographies -- that deals with the up-and-down life and reputation of Seneca. Sample quote: “Seneca’s fortune made possible a life style that was lavish by Roman or, for that matter, Hollywood standards.”