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  • James Joyce's Dubliners first edition to headline December 10 auction
  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • DublinersfirstJamesJoyce's

James Joyce's Dubliners first edition to headline December 10 auction

A 1910 first edition copy of James Joyce's Dubliners is valued at £70,000-90,000 ($114,464-147,168) ahead of a sale at Sotheby's London on December 10.

The sale comprises the third instalment of the Library of an English Bibliophile auction.

Dubliners Joyce first edition
This copy of Dubliners was previously held in the collection of noted bibliophile H Bradley Martin

Only 1,000 copies of Joyce's seminal collection of short stories were published in 1910, with the unsold editions pulped due to creative differences between the author and the publisher, Maunsel.

In 1914 Joyce (1882-1941) added two more stories, Little Cloud and The Dead, and offered it to Grant Richards - a publisher who had initially accepted the book in 1906 but had backed out after concerns over certain themes within it.

This time the book made it to publication, becoming a critically acclaimed bestseller and launching the author's illustrious career.

Only six first editions of Dubliners have sold at auction in the past 30 years, with this example being one of the few to feature the extremely rare original dust jacket.

Previous Joyce first editions have achieved truly exceptional sums at auction, with one copy of his avant-garde masterpiece Ulysses making £275,000 ($449,680) at a sale in 2009.

We have this signed copy of Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), a contemporary of Joyce.

A copy of Shakespeare's second folio, printed in 1632 by Thomas Cotes, could make £60,000-80,000 ($98,118-130,824).

Shakespeare second folio
 Thomas Cotes printed Shakespeare's second folio in 1632

Essentially a reprint of the first folio, which was issued in 1623, the edition features the first example of a work by the poet John Milton in print, in the form of an epitaph for Shakespeare on the title page.

The manuscript includes Cotes' first variant imprint: "to be sold at the signe | of the Blacke Beare in Pauls Church-yard. 1632."

The second folio was issued by five different printers, making it much more widespread than the first - which was printed in an edition of 750, with only 40 first folio copies known to have survived to the present day.

In 2001, a copy of Shakespeare's first folio sold for $6.1m to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. It is now the fifth most expensive book ever sold at auction.

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  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • DublinersfirstJamesJoyce's