The Galsworthy Bubble and Other Freaks of Fashion


The Galsworthy Bubble and Other Freaks of Fashion

The April 2015 seminar in the book-collecting series organised jointly by the Institute of English Studies (London University) and the Rare Book Society was given by Charles Cox (Charles Cox Rare Books).

In The Galsworthy Bubble and other Freaks of Fashion he illustrated some of the odder vagaries of what was in or out of vogue for collectors of English literature in the century or so up to 1930.  Some examples are well known – Rossetti buying a hundred-page Blake notebook for ten shillings in 1847, the first edition of Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat remaindered at a penny in 1861 – but beside such tales of what now seems like inexplicable neglect run parallel stories of the equally unaccountable adulation of books or authors long since disregarded.  The talk traced some of the major shifts in book-collecting fashion, investigated the reasons behind them, and presented a perhaps salutary spectacle of past collectors as they rushed in pursuit of the latest reputation with an almost Gadarene enthusiasm.

The full text of the talk is now available on the website at: The Galsworthy Bubble and Other Freaks of Fashion.   

The seminar took place on Tuesday 14th April 2015 at Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.