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MACKAY, Charles.

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

Illustrated with numerous engravings.

London, Office of the National Illustrated Library, 1852 Stock Code: 139739
£850.00

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Notes

Second edition, and the first thoroughly illustrated one, following Bentley's 1841 first edition, which had only five plates over three volumes. This is an important early work on popular delusions of all types, considering 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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Description

2 volumes, octavo. Original brown cloth, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, boards elaborately lettered and decorated in blind, yellow publisher's advertisement endpapers, top edges gilt.

Illustrations

Wood-engraved frontispieces, vignette half-titles, with tissue guard between in vol. 2, 116 vignettes in text.

Condition

4 pp. publisher's advertisements to rear of vol. 2. Engraved bookplates to front pastedowns, firstly of W. Weatherhead 31 Castlegate, pasted over those of George Johnston M.D. Berwick upon Tweed; bookseller's ticket of Thomas Melrose of Berwick to front pastedowns; binder's ticket of Leighton Son & Hodge, London to rear pastedown of vol. 2. Spine ends and corners bumped and lightly rubbed, with a few nicks to former, gilt on spine of vol. 2 particularly bright, contents crisp and clean throughout excepting some very occasional faint foxing to vol. 2. A very good copy in the attractive original cloth.

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