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MACKAY, Charles.

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Richard Bentley, 1841

Stock Code: 121427

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition. Mackay's important early work of social psychology discusses popular delusions of all types and considers the credulous enthusiasm of mankind for phenomena such as alchemy, witchcraft, relics, the Crusades, urban myths, as well as economic events such as the tulip bubble, the Mississippi Bubble, and the South Sea Bubble. Still in print, Mackay's book has had a profound influence on economics and sociology, with many modern economists referring to his work when analysing the stock market bubbles of our own age. "Charles Mackay's passionate erudition and urbane, unaffected prose style contributed to make him one of the chief figures in the establishment of Victorian journalism as a dignified profession" (ODNB).

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3 volumes, octavo. Original brown cloth, relined and rebacked preserving the original spines lettered in gilt and ruled in blind, boards elaborately decorated in blind, yellow endpapers, edges uncut. Housed in a burgundy flat-back cloth box by the Chelsea Bindery.


With an additional leaf of publisher's advertisements to the front of volume 2. Frontispieces with tissue guards to each volume and 2 engraved portrait plates to volume 3.


Illustrated bookplates to front pastedowns, removal of library labels from spines apparent, reference numbers to title pages in pencil, ownership inscription to front free endpaper of volume 2, and a few marginal annotations to the same, including the date 27 July 1842 to the final page. Boards faded and a little marked with a few knocks, front hinge of volume 2 reinforced, contents tanned with some nicks to fore edges, plates and guards foxed as often, minor worm damage to the rear free endpaper of volume 3, otherwise a very good set.


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