Skip to content Skip to navigation

VIRTUAL BOOK TALK: Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Registration is requested

 

REGISTER

VIRTUAL TICKETS | Members Free and Visitors $5

LOCATION | Zoom

VIRTUAL BOOK TALK: Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America

The fascinating history of American bookishness as told through the sale of Charles Lamb’s library in 1848

Charles Lamb’s library—a heap of sixty scruffy old books singed with smoke, soaked with gin, sprinkled with crumbs, stripped of illustrations, and bescribbled by the essayist and his literary friends—caused a sensation when it was sold in New York in 1848. The transatlantic book world watched as the relics of a man revered as the patron saint of book collectors were dispersed. Following those books through the stories of the bibliophiles who shaped intellectual life in America—booksellers, publishers, journalists, editors, bibliographers, librarians, actors, antiquarians, philanthropists, politicians, poets, clergymen—Denise Gigante brings to life a lost world of letters at a time when Americans were busy assembling the country’s major public, university, and society libraries. A human tale of loss, obsession, and spiritual survival, this book reveals the magical power books can have to bring people together and will be an absorbing read for anyone interested in what makes a book special.

Denise Gigante is the Sadie Dernham Patek Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University. She is the author of The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George and Taste: A Literary History.

PURCHASE Book Madness from our partner, Harvard Book Store.

Assistive Listening Devices image

Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at weisman@bostonathenaeum.org or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.