Sponsored by The Grolier Club
Mon Nov 14, 6:00-7:30 Eastern time
Denise Gigante, a professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, will lecture on her new publication, “Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America.” For this fascinating history of American bookishness, Prof. Gigante’s springboard is the sale of Charles Lamb’s library in 1848 in New York. At his death, the British essayist owned 60 scruffy tomes, singed with smoke, soaked with gin, sprinkled with crumbs, bescribbled by Lamb and friends, and stripped of illustrations. The dispersal of the relics of a man revered as the patron saint of book collectors caused a sensation in the transatlantic book world. Dr. Gigante’s studies of Lamb’s volumes shed light on bibliophiles who shaped American intellectual life: booksellers, publishers, journalists, editors, bibliographers, librarians, actors, antiquarians, philanthropists, politicians, poets, and clergymen. Her tales of loss, obsession and spiritual revival bring to life a lost world of letters at a time when many of America’s major libraries were born.