Charles Eliot Goodspeed, American antiquarian bookseller and writer, was born in Massachusetts on May 2, 1867, the son of Abbie Ellen Dana and Elliott Freeman Goodspeed. He married Leila May Pinkam in 1894, and in 1898 he founded Goodspeed's Book Shop at 18 Beacon Street, Boston. For nearly a century, Goodspeed's was one of the world's preeminent rare book shops. He published his memoirs, Yankee Bookseller, in 1937.
Goodspeed was an active member of the Grolier Club, the Club of Odd Volumes, and the American Antiquarian Society, and held offices in the Bibliographical Society of America and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. He was a Cape Cod man by birth (his ancestor Roger Goodspeed, of Wingrave, Buckinghamshire, settled on Cape Cod around 1640); he moved to Quincy, Massachusetts and there his son George was born in 1903; he also had two daughters, Miriam (1898) and Margaret (1895). He built a particularly fine collection (866 volumes) of books by John Ruskin—who was a mineral collector—and donated them to Wellesley College in 1920. The label shown here is the only evidence known thus far that Goodspeed was also a mineral collector.
Charles Goodspeed never went beyond elementary school, but his son went to Roxbury Latin School and Exeter, and thence to Harvard, from which he graduated in 1925. George worked at the shop for over 70 years, beginning in 1924, then as Director following the death of his father in 1950, and on until he chose to retire and closed the shop in 1995.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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