NEW YORK – First editions penned by the 20th-century’s greatest authors, including George Orwell’s 1934 Burmese Days, Ernest Hemingway’s Men Without Women and Jack London’s Call of the Wild – all with dust jackets – are featured in a book auction that will be conducted by Jasper52 on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
A sensational lot in the auction is William S. Burroughs’ Junkie, published initially under the pseudonym William Lee in 1953. Burroughs’ first published work, it is semiautobiographical and focuses on his life as a drug user and dealer. Burroughs (1914-1997) was a primary figure of the Beat Generation. Published by Ace Books Inc. in 1953, the paperback is in fine condition.
Men Without Women, a first edition/first printing in the first issue jacket, is Hemingway’s second collection of short stories, consisting of 10 previously published and four unpublished pieces. The book offered in the auction is a very good copy with a dust jacket in two pieces with a split along spine panel. Men Without Women was influenced by Hemingway’s travels throughout Europe in the 1920s, with many stories set in Spain and Italy. In classic Hemingway fashion, this early collection also addresses the themes of World War I, bullfighting and boxing.
George Orwell’s Burmese Days, is difficult to find in any condition – only 2,000 copies were printed – but the copy offered in the Jasper52 auction is especially scarce because of its excellent condition and lack of any repairs or restoration. The political novel is based on Orwell’s experiences serving in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922-1927. Considered controversial, this novel was not initially published in the UK. This first American edition of Burmese Days is the true first printing of Orwell’s first novel.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce’s first novel, was first published serially in 21 monthly installments in the British literary magazine The Egoist from February 1914 to September 1915. It was first published in book form in 1916; the first edition/first printing (Huebsch, New York) offered in the auction precedes the first English edition by two months.
The Call of the Wild, arguably Jack London’s most famous novel, comes to the Jasper52 auction in very good condition with its scarce dust jacket and housed in a custom folding box.
A first edition/first printing of The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again) is signed by the artist-author on the half-title along with a soup can illustration, dated May 24 75.
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol is Warhol’s second commercially published book, created after he had been established as a major 20th-century artist and international celebrity. It was largely ghostwritten by Warhol’s secretary Pat Hackett, to whom the book is dedicated.
Also noteworthy is a first edition/first printing of Virginia Woolf’s last novel, Betweeen the Acts (Hogarth Press, London, 1941), which was published posthumously. One of about 6,300 printed, this book was the personal copy of the author’s sister, Vanessa Bell, and bears her ownership initials “V.B.” in blue ink to the front free endpaper.
This Jasper52 auction will begin Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.