Novelist Richard Adams' Book Collection Goes to Auction
On December 14, UK auctioneer Dominic Winter will offer the book collection of Richard Adams, the novelist best known for his 1972 novel, Watership Down. It is brimful of tremendous literary first editions--Austen, Dickens, Eliot, Trollope--plus a Shakespeare Second Folio and a first edition of Milton's epic poem Lycidas (one of only 33 copies known). Pictured here is his signed first edition of William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Adams, who died last year at the age of 96, was quite the book collector.
His daughter, Juliet Johnson, provides an introduction to the auction catalogue, and touches upon this topic. She writes: What turned him into a collector of rare and first editions? I believe it was a combination of his love of literature and his love of history. If you loved both, what could be more exciting than to hold and own that first edition of Emma which Jane herself had perhaps picked up, in the typeface which she herself had no doubt perused with such pride? And with the success of his own work, my father could at last afford to indulge himself and become a true bibliophile ... Collecting became almost an obsession. It is sad to see so much of it go, but my father would no doubt have taken comfort from his beloved Thomas Hardy, and perhaps have been pleased that after his death these great books will pass to others who will love and treasure them.
Image courtesy of Dominic Winter Auctioneers??