It’s probably too late to put a bid in for most of the lots [too late for this one anyway – Ed] but there’s a massive collection of interesting, and important, literary items being auctioned today [Sotheby’s again? – Ed] the full catalogue can be viewed here[free subs] but I’ll pick out a few of the more interesting, imho, an account of the Canadian campaign of the American War of Independence 1776, a 1662 first edition of John Evelyn’s Sculptura: or the History, and Art of Chalcography and Engraving in Copper, signed letters by Charles Darwin.. Oliver Cromwell.. and Beckett gets a look in too [Hmm.. that Beckett is reasonably priced – Ed] a timely document signed by William III dated 1690, and Swift’s there, too much to link really. UTV notes the various lots here, while in an example of that, artifical, cultural divide, RTÉ focuses on a James Joyce Ulysses first edition – view the catalogue entry here – and the Guardian has a great article on the prize lot, Shakespeare’s First Folio, 1623, and why it will attract the highest price [£2.8million – Ed]Just to add, it’s not fully legible in the photo, but the To the Reader inscription, written by Ben Johnson, reads:
This Figure, that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle Shakespeare cut;
Wherein the Graver had a strife
with Nature, to out-doo the life:
O, could he but have drawne his wit
As well in brasse, as he hath hit
His face; the Print would then surpasse
All, that was ever writ in brasse.
But, since he cannot, Reader, looke
Not on his Picture, but his Booke.