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: 140156

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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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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.


Wood-engraved vignette half-titles and frontispieces (those of vol. II in both volumes due to publisher's fault), additional half-title in vol. II, 116 vignettes in text.


Contemporary bookseller's ticket of Bradbury of Bolton to front pastedown of vol. I; contemporary ownership signature to each volume (frontispiece recto of vol. I, half-title of vol. II), in vol. II the ownership signature partly effaced with small chip and replaced with early ownership stamps of H. Fish. Extremities worn, spines dulled, somewhat rubbed, rear hinge of vol. II split and loosening, some finger-soiling to contents; a good copy in the original cloth.


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