Cock Lane and Common-Sense

Andrew LANG

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Item#: 87299 price:$1,250.00

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“NO MAN HAD MORE QUESTIONS TO ASK OF THE NEXT WORLD”: SCARCE LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF COCK LANE AND COMMON-SENSE,ONE OF ONLY 60 COPIES, THIS COPY FROM THE LIBRARY OF ANDREW LANG

LANG, Andrew. Cock Lane and Common-Sense. London: Longmans, Green, 1894. Small folio, original half ivory paper boards, raised bands, uncut. $1250.

Limited large-paper first edition, number one of only 60 copies, with tipped-in sheet stating this is “from the library of Andrew Lang,” entirely uncut, scarce in original paper boards.

“A brilliant and versatile man [Lang] was a poet, critic, essayist, anthropologist, folklorist and ‘King’s-craftsman of fairy tales.’ …Lang’s most important contribution to scholarship at the time, however, came out of his studies in anthropology” (Carpenter & Pritchard, 302). This fascinating collection of Lang’s essays on spiritualism reflects his long and passionate interest in the subject, one that prompted him to lead the field as “one of the founders of the study of ‘Psychical Research” (Encyclopedia Britannica). A version of his paper on the Cock Lane Ghost was read before the Society of Psychical Research in 1894 and he became its president in 1911. “On the question of the real existence of the reported phenomena hereafter chronicled,” Lang writes here, “…the writer has been unable to reach any conclusion, negative or affirmative… Now, if there be but one spark of real fire to all this smoke, then the purely materialistic theories of life and the world must be reconsidered.” Despite the considerable controversy provoked by Lang’s views, his writings maintained that “appeals to evidence be used to account for those miraculous phenomena from which religion in all ages has derived support, and which he refused to regard as necessarily fraudulent… No man had more questions to ask of the next world” (DNB). As issued without dust jacket. Bookplate.

Binding toned and stained, interior fine.

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