Wednesday 17 January 2018

€40k for 'Ulysses' first edition

Copies of the famous literary masterpiece 'Ulysses' by Irishman James Joyce
Copies of the famous literary masterpiece 'Ulysses' by Irishman James Joyce

Danielle Stephens

A FIRST edition original copy of James Joyce's 'Ulysses' was sold for nearly €40,000 at auction, €15,000 more than expected.

The book was originally estimated to go for €25,000, but the winning bidder paid £31,250, which equates to €39,018.

The buyer wanted to remain anonymous, but was described as a "well-known European collector" by Andrew Currie of Bonhams, London, where the auction was held.

At least four people were interested in the book, which had been smuggled out of Paris in 1922 and was signed in pencil by its owner Peter Mrosovsky.

On two occasions, 'Lolita' author Vladimir Nabokov recalled having passages of this copy read to him by Mrosovsky while at Trinity College Dublin.

According to Mr Currie, it was the link between Joyce and Nabakov that made this rare first edition so sought-after.

"First edition copies of any of Joyce's works are very much sought after, but the link with Vladimir Nabakov, made it that little bit more special," he said.

The winning bid was made over the phone, with Mr Currie explaining that these days "most people who bid at these things aren't actually in the auction room, choosing instead to bid by phone or over the internet".

Novelist Nabokov was hugely influenced by James Joyce's writings and he considered 'Ulysses' to be one of the three most important books of all time.

Irish Independent

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