Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies achieves 108% increase on estimate

A first edition copy of Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies (1930), complete with its original dust jacket, made $18,750 at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on November 18, surpassing its $9,000 estimate by 108.3%.

Very few copies of the book are sold with an unrestored jacket, with this example among the finest known.

Evelyn Waugh Vile
Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies is a biting satire of the jazz age

Vile Bodies is a biting parody of the London party scene (of which Waugh was an enthusiastic member) and is today considered among the most evocative novels of the jazz age.

A first edition copy of James Joyce's Ulysses was another highlight, achieving $16,250.

Joyce was unable to publish his masterpiece in England as the work was considered obscene.

Fortunately there were no such issues in France where it was taken on by Sylvia Beach, owner of bookshop and publisher Shakespeare & Company.

The company produced 1,000 copies, 100 of which were printed on Dutch handmade paper and signed by the author.

A further 150 were issued on Verge d'Arches paper, while 750 were issued on plain handmade paper.

The present lot is from the last printing and is numbered 408 of 750.

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