What the Dickens? Manuscripts Expected to Go Under the Hammer For $2m

Posted Apr 2, 2008 by Michelle Duffy
Christies In New York are about to auction off a giant collection of important literature works including special signed editions from even Charles Dickens.
Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
For anyone who is literature mad, this could be the closest thing to Heaven, yet it will probably cost you the Earth to grab a slice of it. The price of the works of Charles Dickens, the largest of it's kind for example, will set you back around $2million.
A massive auction is about to get under way of some of the most innovative, inspired and even journalistic works of some of the most prolific writers of our time. Mr Dickens will not just be on show by himself, the works spanning the three decades of his most important writing life, budding, literature-seeking book worms will be able to bid for the original manuscripts of Pickwick Papers and even a "signed" copy of a special edition novel by George Elliot.
So where has all this wondrous work come from? At the present time, they are all owned by William Self, better known as a TV mogul surrounding Hollywood. (Why aren't these works in England, I hear you say?)
Who cares? The fact that they will be up for auction is enough to get the word juices flowing, especially if these profoundly amazing works are coming in to your auction house, like Tom Lecky, who is in charge of books and manuscripts at Christies in New York. He told BBC News,
"These are books that would have passed through the great novelist's hands and into the hands of his fellow actors and artists."
If a pile of old books isn't enough to get you in the historic mood, how about if the Dickens classics were signed by the man himself? According to Christies, there are 13 presentation copies of these works, which are indeed were signed by Dickens as gifts to others.
The most expensive of these lots is expected to be an edition of Oliver Twist which was inscribed to close friend, William Harrison Ainsworth. This particular book is expected to fetch a staggering $300,000. The total number of lots at the auction by Self will be 208.