What is the most expensive Charles Dickens book in the world?
Charles Dickens is without a doubt
one of the most highly-known and often-studied authors so it only makes sense
that his works are among some of the most expensive, especially first editions.
Previously the most expensive Charles Dickens book was A Christmas Carol, which
sold in 1996 at a Sotheby’s auction in New York for $160,000. However, there has
been another Dickens book that has sold for even more than that just recently at
a Christie’s auction held in New York.
The book that sold was Oliver Twist and the buyer
shelled out a whopping $229,000 for it, making this first edition the most
expensive Charles Dickens book ever. However, it wasn’t just the fact that it’s
one of Dickens’ most famous books or even the fact that it’s a first edition
that makes this particular copy so valuable. One of the most valuable features
of this book is that it’s inscribed by Dickens himself to an old friend and
fellow writer, William Ainsworth.
The other feature that makes this book so valuable
is that originally belonged to the Kenyan Starling Library, which was owned by
TV mogul William E. Self. This library was actually comprised of two different
libraries – that of Self and his rival Starling, both of whom were trying to
build the most expansive library ever. Upon his death, Starling left his entire
collection to Self and this first edition of Oliver Twist was one of the many
treasures in it.
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