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Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
London: Office of the National Illustrated Library,, 1852. Illustrated with numerous engravings. 2 volumes, octavo. Original brown blind-stamped cloth, gilt lettered spines gilt decorated with thistles, roses and shamrocks, yellow endpapers carrying publisher's advertisements, top edges gilt. Wood-engraved frontispieces, vignette half-titles, 116 vignettes in text. Spines rolled, a few nicks to bindings and marks to covers, scattered foxing, but a nice set. Second edition, and the first thoroughly illustrated one, following Bentley's 1841 first edition, which had only four plates over three volumes. An attractive copy in the original cloth of this 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. 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).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-06-17           Check availability:      Biblio    

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