Book: The Great Mirror of Folly

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The Great Mirror of Folly: Finance, Culture, and the Crash of 1720

Edited by William N. Goetzmann, the Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies; K. Geert Rouwenhorst, the Robert B. and Candice J. Haas Professor of Corporate Finance; Timothy G. Young, curator of modern books and manuscripts at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library; and Catherine Labio, associate professor of English at the University of Colorado-Boulder

(Yale University Press)

The world’s first global stock market bubble suddenly burst in 1720, destroying the dreams and fortunes of speculators in London, Paris, and Amsterdam virtually overnight. Their folly and misfortune inspired the publication of a Dutch collection of satirical prints, plays, poetry, commentary, and financial prospectuses titled “Het groote Tafereel de Dwaasheid” (The Great Mirror of Folly), a unique and lavish record of the financial crisis and its cultural dimensions. The current book adopts the title. It is a book about the book, a wide-ranging interdisciplinary collaboration that uncovers the meaning and influence of the “Tafereel” and the profound, lasting, and multifaceted impact of the crash of 1720 on European cultures and financial markets.

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