Watership Down Author’s Library Collection Goes To Auction.

By November 23, 2017Authors, News
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Richard Adams, author of the lagomorphic novel Watership Down, had a personal library many of us Reading Addicts would dream about. As a passionate bibliophile, Adams collected first editions, and rare manuscripts of his most favourite books from Shakespeare to Austen.

After his death at age 96 on Christmas Eve in 2016, his collection of books has been steadily examined and catalogued ready for auction in December 2017. Adams’ favourite book Emma by Jane Austen was amongst his collection- his copy being a rare first edition- and was well read and enjoyed by the author. Richard Adams was a true bibliophile; he did not keep his special and rare books locked away but knew they were there to be enjoyed.

Now thanks to his estate putting them up for auction they can be continued to be enjoyed.




The Watership Down author’s impressive collection of thousands of books includes a rare copy of the epic poem of Milton: Lycidas, Shakespeare’s Second Folio of 1632, a Bible that once belonged to King Charles II, and an array of first editions by 19th-century English novelists including George Eliot, Dickens, and Anthony Trollope.

Dominic Winter Auctioneers, which will sell the library on 14 December, has valued the author’s complete set of Jane Austen first editions at an amazing £60,000 to £80,000. The Lycidas is valued by the auction house at £50,000 to £70,000, while Shakespeare’s Second Folio may be worth up to £60,000.

Amongst the collection is a copy of Lord of the Flies inscribed to Richard Adams by William Golding himself: “Richard Adams spell binder extraordinaire”. It turns out that the two authors were friends and chess rivals.

Juliet Johnson, daughter of Richard Adams, wrote in an piece for Dominic Winter Auctions:

“Some of the first things he read were poems by Thomas Hardy, Treasure Island, much of Charles Dickens, and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book that distressed him terribly and cast a long shadow forward to the evil slave trader Genshed in his own novel Shardik. With his undergraduate studies interrupted by war, he found the works of Jane Austen, and particularly Emma, a solace and mainstay – as did thousands of soldiers both before and after him. And so it went on all his life. To Richard, books were a consolation that broadened your horizons, told you truths about things most people in your life would brush under the carpet or have no experience of, and comfort you when things were bleak.”

“He never quite succeeded in imparting to us his own overpowering love of poetry – and when I became a teenager, his overemotional poetry reading was embarrassing and made me uncomfortable – but we shared his love of novels, and generally responded enthusiastically to these,” she said. “(Once he became a successful writer) he could at last afford to indulge himself and become a true bibliophile. Much of what he collected remained unknown to us until we found it on the shelves after his death. I think it is fair to say we had no idea he had so much. Collecting became almost an obsession.”

Buy your copy of Watership Down here:




Frank McCourt: Wise Words From The Teacher Man

By | Authors, Quotations | No Comments
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Frank McCourt was born on 19th August 1930 in Brooklyn New York. His family moved back to Ireland during the Great Depression, where his alcoholic father, found it difficult to come by and keep a job. After McCourt’s father left Limerick, his mother struggled alone, to bring up Frank and his siblings in abject poverty.

McCourt returned to NewYork in 1949, where he managed to survive doing odd jobs, until he was drafted during The Korean War. On his discharge he managed to bluff his way into New York University, where in 1957 he graduated with a batchelor’s degree in English. He went on to teach at six schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan and earned his master’s degree in 1967. Read More

8 books by left-handed authors to celebrate ‘International Left Handers Day’

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Left handers have been mocked and demonised throughout the years, especially from religious people who believe the left hand to be ‘unclean’, or accusing left handers to be ‘consorting with the devil’.

As absurd as those claims may seem now, some of the negativity towards left-handed folk remains to this day. Left handers were still battling in the 20th century against people like American psychoanalyst Abram Blau, who accused all left-handers of being perverts. Even seemingly well-meaning teachers still insist on their student switching hands when they start to learn to write.

If only left handers were just left to be lefties! Some of our favourite writers were left-handed, and it is said that lefties tend to be more creative and arty than right handers.

Here’s a list of 8 of our favourite lefty writers.

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Nobel Prize Winning Author VS Naipaul Dies

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Novelist VS Naipaul has died peacefully at home in London just a few days before his 86th birthday. The Nobel Prize winning author of more than thirty books including A Bend in the River and A House for Mr Biswas was born in rural Trinidad in 1932 and went on to become a key figure in British literary heritage.

Sir VS Naipaul had been in ill health for a while and published his final work, the nonfiction The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief in 2010. Today the literary world is in shock. Here are some of the tributes on Twitter today.

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Roots Author Alex Haley Talks of the Horrors of Slavery

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Alex Haley (August 11th, 1921 – February 10th, 1992) was an American author, best known for his 1976 Pulitzer Prize winning book Roots: The Saga of an American Family, adapted to a series a year later in 1977.

While a fantastic story, Roots was not without controversy and its release was marred by accusations of plagiarism (proven to be partly true), and doubts cast on the authenticity of the family ties. Today the book is accepted to be a work of fiction, and controversy aside is still a worthy read with an important message.

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Chinese Crime Writer Who Used His Own Murders as Inspiration for His Stories Sentenced to Death

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Last year, we reported the news that the Chinese crime author Liu Yongbiao had been arrested for the decades old murder of four people he and a friend killed after a robbery went wrong. Following his trial a few days ago, the 53-year-old has been sentenced to death for the murders which occurred 23 years ago.

In 1995, Liu Yongbiao and an accomplice named Wang Mouming robbed a hostel. After being discovered, the two killed a family of three as well as another guest by beating them to death him hammers and clubs in order to cover their tracks. Since the crime, Liu became a famed writer and was even a member of the China Writers’ Association.

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A Story Ernest Hemingway Wrote in 1956 Is to Be Published for the First Time

By | Authors, New Releases | No Comments
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Ernest Hemingway is arguably one of the finest authors to have ever put pen to paper, and his given us many modern classics such as A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea. Fans of Hemingway will be very pleased to learn that, more than 60 years after it was first written, a Hemingway story called A Room at the Garden Side is set to be published for the first time.

For decades, the novel has remained hidden away from scholars and academics, but has finally resurfaced. The story takes place in the Ritz Hotel, Paris, a setting which has appeared in previous Hemingway novels and holds personal significance for the author. The novel is narrated by a character called Robert, who happens to share Hemingway’s own nickname, Papa. Robert and his band of soldiers, who are all due to leave the city the next day, spend their time drinking and debating “the dirty trade of war.”
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