J.K. Rowling, Hilary Mantel, and other British authors auction off annotated first editions(Read article summary)
J.K. Rowling and other authors are selling first-edition copies of their books with annotations, written thoughts on the book, and/or illustrations to benefit the writers' organization English PEN.
J.K. Rowling, Hilary Mantel, Ian McEwan, Philip Pullman, and other British authors will auction off first-edition copies of their books with annotations, illustrations, or commentaries about their stories to benefit the British writersâ€™ organization English PEN.
The auction will take place May 21, with 50 British writers contributing first-edition copies of their works with some sort of additions. Pullmanâ€™s novel â€śNorthern Lights,â€ť known as â€śThe Golden Compassâ€ť in America, will be sold as well as Helen Fieldingâ€™s novel â€śBridget Jonesâ€™s Diary," Roald Dahlâ€™s childrenâ€™s book â€śMatilda,â€ť and Mantel's "Wolf Hall."
Rowling is contributing the first book in the Harry Potter series, â€śHarry Potter and the Philosopherâ€™s Stone,â€ť known as â€śHarry Potter and the Sorcererâ€™s Stoneâ€ť in the US. As noted by Reuters, the book is the hardest to find of the "Harry Potter" series because it had the fewest copies released during its first printing.
Some of the annotations for the books are also available for viewing online through the website for the British newspaper the Guardian.
The auction will be taking place at Sothebyâ€™s and is arranged around a theme of â€śFirst Editions, Second Thoughts,â€ť according to the English PEN website.
â€śIn 40 years in the rare book trade I have never seen a collection of books to compare with those in this sale,â€ť curator of the sale Rick Gekoski said in a statement on the site. Gekoski is also an English PEN trustee and works as a rare book dealer. â€śIn many cases, the commentaries will affect how the book is to be read and understood in the future.â€ť
Rowlingâ€™s copy of â€śâ€śHarry Potter and the Philosopherâ€™s Stoneâ€ť includes some hand-drawn illustrations accompanying the story as well as her written thoughts and a 43-page piece on the theme of â€śsecond thoughtsâ€ť about the book.
One of the authorâ€™s annotations reveals that she originally chose a bear to represent Hufflepuff House, one of Hogwartâ€™s four houses, before settling on a badger.
â€śPerhaps Hufflepuff house would have the respect it deserves from the fans if I'd stayed with my original idea of a bear to represent it?â€ť she wrote.