HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR INCLUDE LITERARY LEGENDS FROM SHERLOCK HOLMES TO THE GREAT GATSBY

. May 30, 2013

A First Edition of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and E.M. Forster’s personal copy of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence (otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia) are among the gems that will be on sale at the 56th London International Antiquarian Book Fair.

The Fair, which will again be held in the National Hall at Olympia (London W14) from Thursday, 13th June to Saturday, 15th June, 2013 has more than 180 exhibitors, who are travelling from all corners of the globe to take part in the longest running Antiquarian Book Fair in the UK.

Described by Winston Churchill as one of the “greatest books written in the English language”, this copy of the 1926 edition of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, inscribed by Lawrence to Forster, is one of 32 so-called ‘incomplete’ copies for presentation. It is touchingly initialled on the front endpaper, “E.M.F from T.E.S. Not good enough, but as good, apparently, as I can do. 1.xii.26.” Lawrence (then also known as Shaw) first met Forster in February 1921 and over the following years their friendship prospered. When in 1922 Lawrence had eight copies of his latest draft of The Seven Pillars printed by the Oxford Times, for the purpose of lending them to his literary friends to gauge their reaction, Forster was among the select group of recipients. The book also contains a later inscription by Forster to his last lover, the policeman, Bob Buckingham, “R.J. Buckingham from E.M. Forster 20-1-68”. It is also annotated by Forster in pencil throughout (Jonkers Rare Books, £225,000).

A First Edition of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, dating from 1925 in an excellent example of the famous dust jacket designed by Francis Cugat, of which was stated by Charles Scribner III: “that not only is the jacket recognised as the most eloquent in American literary history, but that Cugat’s artwork demonstrably had an effect on Fitzgerald’s evolution of his literary masterpiece.” will be offered by Peter Harrington (£120,000).

Works by other major writers of the 19th and 20th centuries include several works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle such as the First Edition of the first Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet, in original wrappers, dating from 1888. The book was written during 1886: after it was turned down by several publishers, Ward Lock agreed to publish it, but not for a year as they said ‘the market is flooded at present with cheap fiction’. Therefore, for the modest sum of £25, Ward Lock bought the priceless copyright to what would soon be a famous story, (Jonkers, £75,000). In addition, Biblioctopus from Los Angeles will be offering an astounding run of all the Holmes and Watson stories in the Strand Magazines, 1891 – 1927. The 75 volumes include 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories and are priced at £60,000.

Of Irish and international interest: Paul Foster will be bringing along a rare large paper First Edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, dating from 1922. This beautiful copy is one of just 150 produced. Set on one day in June (June 16th – the day after the fair ends!), this is considered by many to be one of the greatest and most important works of 20th century literature (£30,000).

The fair takes place just a few days after the centenary of the death of Emily Davison, the militant activist, who died when she stepped out in front of King George V’s horse at the Derby, fighting for women’s suffrage in Britain. A rare copy of E. Sylvia Pankhurst’s The Suffragette (The history of the Women’s Militant Suffrage Movement 1905-1910), dating from 1911 and signed by Sylvia, her sister Christabel and her mother Emmeline, founders of the movement, carries a price of £6,000 (Paul Foster). To complement this, Jarndyce will be bringing along a circular tin badge stating Votes for Women, Women’s Suffrage, dating from 1905 and likely to have been issued by the Women’s Society and Political Union, which had been established in October 1903 by, among others, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst (£150).

Details of all the highlights can be viewed beforehand on the website: http://www.olympiabookfair.com/p/exhibitor-highlights/

Full details of opening hours, location, and travel to Olympia can be found on www.olympiabookfair.com

Category: Fairs

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