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2020-09-22 19:29:11
(CITY OF LONDON.)
Ye Vampyres! A Legend of the National Betting-Ring, Showing What Became of It. By The Spectre.
London: Samuel Tinsley, 1875. London: Samuel Tinsley,, 1875. Octavo. Original pictorial boards, title to spine black and to front cover black and red, cream coated endpapers. Small split to head of front joint, and to ends of rear joint, but text block sound, some rubbing to extremities, mark to fore edge, occasional faint foxing to contents. A very good copy. First edition. The anonymous author uses an imaginary setting to condemn corruption in the City in the mid-1870s. The real settings were easily discerned in the novel, with London as the city of Undone, and the stock exchange as the Vortex ("There were very many honourable men in Undone City who had long been sick and tired of the doings in the Vortex... Swindlers were prosecuted, but very seldom punished."). The Stock Exchange, closed to non-members, was seen as the basis for corruption in the City. "Non-members had to stand outside the door and give orders to members, who went inside to buy and sell on their behalf. This meant that non-members had no way of knowing whether the prices they paid or received were the product of open and fair bargaining, or arrived at through the collusion of members who profited at the expense of outsiders" (Michie, p. 82). Michie, Guilty Money: The City of London in Victorian and Edwardian Culture, 1815-1914, 2009.
Bookseller: Peter Harrington [United Kingdom]

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