First Editions, Second Thoughts auction announced at Sotheby's

Sotheby's and English PEN - an organisation that supports UK writers - have teamed up for an auction entitled First Editions, Second Thoughts, which will showcase first edition books that have been specially inscribed and illustrated by the author for the sale.

Roald Dahl Matilda First Edition
Quentin Blake has added several of his famous illustrations to a first edition copy of Roald Dahl's Matilda

The sale is due to take place on May 21 in London, with contributions from Margaret Atwood, Alan Bennett, JK Rowling, Ralph Steadman, Tom Stoppard and Kazuo Ishiguro among others. The sale aims to raise funds for English PEN, so that it can continue its work across the world.

Each book has been uniquely personalised, offering what Sotheby's describes as "a fascinating insight into each author's creative process and the genesis and nature of their work." Authors were asked to "scribble second thoughts, marginalia or drawings throughout the work in whatever fashion moves you."

"In 40 years in the rare book trade I have never seen a collection of books to compare with those in this sale," commented curator of the sale Rick Gekoski, a trustee of English PEN.

"The self-scrutiny of the authors is highly considered - crafted, thoughtful and thought provoking. And like works of literature themselves, their annotations give a peek into the soul of their maker.

"In many cases, the commentaries will affect how the book is to be read and understood in the future."

Paul Fraser Collectibles also has a superb selection of literary collectibles for sale. Just a few of our outstanding items are two signed Harry Potter books, a list handwritten by Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and signed letters from Charles Dickens. 


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