Lord Byron’s Autographed Copy of Frankenstein Up for Sale

I have a number of interesting association copies in my library, but a first edition of Frankenstein inscribed to Lord Byron by the author blows away anything I have by a good measure. That’s what bookseller Peter Harrington is offering up for a mere £350,000 or so (which, at this particular moment, comes out to $566,985.26). I’ll check my recliner for spare change, but I think that’s more than I’m willing to spend right now. (Plus it’s only the first volume of the three volume set, and you can’t expect me to lower my standards and buy an incomplete set, can you?)

I’ve refrained from putting up a post on it until now because I’m incredibly lazy I was waiting for the bookseller to put up a full prospectus, which he has now done. Here’s the relevant description:

[SHELLEY, Mary.] Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. London: for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, 1818. First edition, presentation copy to Lord Byron, with the author’s autograph inscription to the front flyleaf: “To Lord Byron from the Author”. An unsurpassable association copy of the best known fiction of the Romantic era, perhaps the most evocative presentation copy conceivable in all nineteenth-century literature.

Condition: Vol. 1 only (of 3), duodecimo (184 × 114 mm). Bound for presentation in contemporary calf, boards ruled in gilt with a double fillet enclosing a leaf-and-flower-head roll in blind with floral tools in blind at inside corners, marbled endpapers, green silk book mark. Inscribed by the author on the binder’s blank immediately preceding the half-title; complete with the half-title and final advert leaf. Spine perished (a small fragment with a single blind-tooled oriel preserved in archival paper tipped-in on the rear pastedown), inner hinges expertly repaired by James Brockman, boards rubbed and a little stained, tips just worn, a few faint spots and some light offsetting, a tall, well-margined copy.

Worth that much? Probably. Though I would really want the second and third volumes…

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4 Responses to “Lord Byron’s Autographed Copy of Frankenstein Up for Sale”

  1. Dwight Brown says:

    Would I rather have this, or Bonnie and Clyde’s guns? I think I’m with you; since this is only volume one of three, I’ll take the guns.

    Heck, for that kind of money, I should be able to pick up the ones in the current auction, plus Clyde’s BAR, plus one of his Thompson sub-machine guns, and still have money left over for ammo.

  2. [...] inscribed first edition of Lord of the Flies. That’s not quite in the same league as Lord Byron’s inscribed copy of Frankenstein, but it’s still an impressive association [...]

  3. T.Santiago says:

    It’s not surprising that the value is over half million.
    After all it is one of a kind! I have a journal that belonged to Lord Byron and has his signature on poems written in his handwriting along with others like Thomas Moore, Manning, Hall and many others! Book dates back to early 1800′s…. I have been trying to obtain value and place for auction!!
    If you can put me in the right direction to start I would be grateful!!!

  4. Lawrence Person says:

    If you can’t find a Lord Byron expert nearby, you might try contacting Heritage Auctions in Dallas. They can probably find an expert to verify and appraise it.

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