Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dollar Value Of A 1st Edition Of 'Tropic Of Cancer'

The Guardian recently published a list of the most valuable first edition books "in good condition." James Joyce's Ulysses was #1, at £100,000, or U.S. $174,430.

Henry Miller's Tropic Of Cancer was listed at #66 out of 100, with a value of £6,000+, or, in American currency, $10,469 or more. A first edition of Cancer is listed as being of equal value to first editions of To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee, 1960), En Attandent Godot [Waiting For Godot] (Samuel Beckett, 1952), Sons And Lovers (DH Lawrence, 1913), several titles by Agatha Christie, including The Secret Adversary (1922), The Big Sleep (Raymond Chandler, 1939), and Decline And Fall (Evelyn Waugh, 1928).

In 1986, the original manuscript for Tropic of Cancer was auctioned for $165,000. (ref.)

Abe Books lists a first edition of Cancer--paired with a first edition of Tropic Of Capricorn--going for $31, 457. Sounds like a deal, by comparison.

Firsts magazine published an article in their January 2000 edition called "Collecting Henry Miller."

Here is my earlier post about the story behind the cover art of this first edition of Tropic Of Cancer.

25 Comments:

Anonymous JamesD said...

I would love to see one of the so-called "keyed" first editions of TROPIC OF CANCER, wherein Miller wrote the "real" names of his characters in the margins of some copies of the book. As can be expected, a keyed copy goes for substantially more than a standard first edition--all too rich for my blood!

8:25 pm  
Blogger RC said...

Hey James,
I don't imagine that these "keyed" copied number more than half a dozen. Any idea who has them? Is there some sort of rare book registry as there is for Stradivarius violins?
RC

9:30 am  
Anonymous JamesD said...

Alas, I don't know who has one or how many are circulating. I have seen advertisements for a few, though. Perhaps one of your readers can let us know.

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Blogger Raymond Johnson said...

340125091119There are many copies of Tropic of Cancer available. Is the copy with a light-green cover with Miller at the top of the spine and a small tree above Calder on the bottom of the spine(gold lettering), a true first edition? Inside it reads manf.in Gt. Britain. Above that it reads first published in Gt.Britain in 1963 by John Calder, copyright 1934

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