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Lord Byron’s Copy of Frankenstein Up for Auction

By Harriet Staff

A beautifully aged copy of Lord Byron’s Frankenstein, which contains an inscription from Mary Shelley, has been discovered and is now up for auction. AbeBooks has the scoop, including the story behind its discovery:

The book has essentially been gathering dust since the 1970s. It was part of the library of the late Douglas Jay, who became Lord Jay. He was president of the Board of Trade under Harold Wilson and died in 1996. His grandson Sammy found the book while going through his grandfather’s papers.

Sammy Jay said: “I saw the book lying at an angle in the corner of the top shelf. On opening it, I saw the title page, recognised what it was at once and leafed hungrily through the text – it was only when I flicked idly back to the first blank that I saw the inscription in cursive black ink, “To Lord Byron, from the author”.”

Richard Ovenden, deputy librarian at the Bodleian, verified that the inscription was indeed from Mary Shelley. Only 500 copies of Frankenstein were printed initially and Mary Shelley apparently retained six for her personal use.

Want to know how much this literary treasure will cost you? Find out here.


Posted in Poetry News on Thursday, September 13th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.