expensive Dickens book-world record set by Oliver Twist
3]NEW YORK, US--An inscribed first-edition copy of Oliver
Twist fetched £115, 670 last night - a world record for a
Charles Dickens book.
The book, published in 1838 and inscribed
by the author to William Ainsworth, a friend and fellow novelist,
was bought by an anonymous U.S. collector.
The previous auction record for a Dickens novel
was held by ``A Christmas Carol,'' which sold for $160,000
in 1996 at Sotheby's in New York.
In June, Christie's will auction the desk and
chair Dickens used when he wrote ``Great Expectations'' and
other works. The mid-19th century mahogany furniture, at which
the author worked the day before he died of a stroke at Gad's
Hill, Kent, in 1870, will be included in a London sale. It's
expected to fetch up to 80,000 pounds ($159,000).
The furniture passed down the family to
his great-great-grandson, Christopher Charles Dickens, who
died in 1999.
His widow, Jeanne-Marie Dickens, Countess Wenckheim, decided
to donate it to raise funds for equipment and research at
the children's hospital in London. Dickens became a supporter
and patron of the hospital soon after it was founded. He observed
that thousands of sick children were ending up in “little
graves two or three feet long, which are so plentiful in our
churchyards and our cemeteries”. Dickens, who died in 1870
aged 58, was a friend of the hospital’s founder, Charles West.
The hospital needs to raise £50 million a year.