Skip to main content

Author Richard Adams’ library up for auction

By November 28, 2017No Comments

Source : Times of India

Richard Adams‘s personal books are going to auction in December, including the first edition of Jane Austen‘sEmma , Shakespeare’s Second Folio and Boswell’s Life of Johnson .Library

Author Richard Adams is best known for his book Watership Down , which was adapted into a movie. He has written several books since, including the popular Shardik and The Plague Dogs . He passed away in December 2016 at the age of 96.

Adams has built a large library by the end of his life, collecting rare books and many first editions, such as a set of Winnie-the-Pooh and several first editions by George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope. The library also contained Shakespeare’s Second Folio from 1632, Boswell’s Life of Johnson , a rare copy of Milton’s epic poem Lycidas and a Bible that once belonged to Charles II. His copy of Lord of the Flies contains a personal inscription by William Golding.

His personal library will be up for auction on 14th December 2017 by Dominic Winter Auctioneers. They have valued his complete set of Austen first editions alone at between £60,000 and £80,000, The Lycidas at £50,000 to £70,000 and the Second Folio at £40,000 to £60,000,

Adams’ daughter, Juliet Johnson, writes in an essay for Dominic Winter: “Some of the first things he read were poems by Thomas Hardy, Treasure Island , much of Charles Dickens, and Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin , a book that distressed him terribly and cast a long shadow forward to the evil slave trader Genshed in his own novel Shardik .

“With his undergraduate studies interrupted by war, he found the works of Jane Austen, and particularly Emma , a solace and mainstay – as did thousands of soldiers both before and after him. And so it went on all his life. To Richard, books were a consolation that broadened your horizons, told you truths about things most people in your life would brush under the carpet or have no experience of, and comfort you when things were bleak.”

Winters at the auction house said that Adams’s collection was “a proper library – not just one to be looked at … There wasn’t a special place for the more valuable books – they weren’t under lock and key, they were there to be enjoyed. I was amazed when I first walked in.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.