1838-1911

Elliot Stock was an English publisher and bibliophile who collected first editions. The publishing company that bore his name was in business from 1859 to 1939.

Stock was the son of a wealthy father from East Anglian family settled in Essex, and of a mother from a Huguenot family named Collard. After attending Amersham Grammar School, Stock first worked for the firm of Piper, Stephenson, and Spence and then in 1857 became an apprentice to Mr. B. L. Green, a book-seller at 62, Paternoster Row. In 1859 Stock acquired the business. B. L. Green was the brother of Dr. Green of the Religious Tract Society. In its early years, the firm of Elliot Stock was primarily engaged in publishing religious works. In 1866 Stock married Fanny Bellin, the daughter of Samuel Bellin, an artist and engraver. Stock became an amateur painter and poet and acquired many artistic and literary friends and acquaintances. He was also a bird-watcher and athlete (winning a silver cup in rowing).

In 1877 Stock published facsimile first editions of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler and George Herbert’s The Temple. Stock’s firm published many other notable facsimile first editions, such as those for Robinson Crusoe, Rasselas and The Vicar of Wakefield.

Stock published The Antiquary from December 1879 to 1915. In 1887, he began publishing the monthly Book-Prices Current, which became a standard reference for book dealers and collectors. His other works include:

WE ALL DO FADE
AS A LEAF

The wind goes by,
The dead leaves fall
Silent beneath
The churchyard wall.
Man, like the leaf, doth quiet lie,
Though deeper, he
Shall rise and fly
By Christ his aid
And shall not stay
Where men and leaves
Do aye decay.

Elliot Stock, 1888

  1. Down from Heav’n Winging