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Richard Bearne is the Chairman of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, specialising in books and manuscripts. He regularly undertakes valuations for both insurance and probate purposes.
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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, February 19, 2013

There are a number of modern first editions  in the Antiquarian Book Auction to be held on 20th February 2013 at Dowell Street, Honiton, East Devon.


The first of these of note is Agatha Christie’s The Body in the Library (BK9/121). Published by Collins in their popular crime collection series, it features Agatha Christie’s famous amateur detective Miss Marple. The body turns out to be that of an 18 year dancer called Ruby Keene. In original cloth and with dustwrapper (1942), I anticipate this good volume to be hotly contested and can see it exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £240-£400, but we will see when it goes under the hammer in the Antiquarian Book Auction on 20th February 2013 (BK9).


 agatha christies the body in the library



Agatha Christies The Body in the Library


Also in this rare book auction in the section of Modern first editions is a first edition of HG Wells highly influential novel The War of the Worlds, dated 1898 (BK9/203). It is not in brilliant condition, but in its original austere grey cloth cover, it is a masterpiece of science fiction writing, a genre that has been imitated over and over again. I am expecting this iconic book to realise between £150-£200.


 h g wells the war of the worlds



HG Wells The War of the Worlds


The modern first editions section of the Antiquarian book auction also includes several books of ghost stories, James Bond, also a nice collection of PG Wodehouse novels, and a complete set of CS Lewis Narnia novels, including a first edition of The Lion and the Witch, although unfortunately without dustwrapper.


The sale is tomorrow, so we will see whether my predictions are correct. I am sure there will be a few surprises, which I look forward to reporting to you once the Antiquarian Book Auction is complete.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:09:53 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Comments [13] Modern First Editions | Trackback

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:26:50 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Hi Bytown, I read your post on the book auction and thhguot you might like to hear of another book auction that has been online for over a year. has been offering a good variety of antiquarian books. Thanks for the information regarding Heritage. P.S. I collect rare comic books. Do you have any Golden Age for sale in any condition? Thanks, Rick
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So glad you found this book, it's fantastic! I've been waiting and waiting for it to break out, but no one seems to know about it. Blooming Tree Books is a tiny pub, so I don't think anything but word-of-mouth is going to, well, spread the word. So, again, I'm glad you found it. According to the author's website, there have been some changes in the series. Books 2/3 have been combined, and the new title is The Book of Knowledge (really cool cover on Amazon). There's been lots of talk (on the few sites who've found the book) about the series taking a controversial turn (I hear Da Vinci Code type stuff--which I think clues in book one fit with). Anyway, I can't wait to see where things go, because this is one series that seems, I don't know, unafraid to be a bit challenging.

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