Irish literary genius Samuel Beckett

First edition Samuel Beckett novel donated to charity shop sells for $18,000


Irish literary genius Samuel Beckett

A first edition of Irish author and dramatist Samuel Beckett’s first published novel ‘Murphy’ turned up in an Oxfam charity shop and was auctioned off to raise an impressive $18,000.

The Bourne Local reports on the exciting find of Beckett’s relic which was auctioned off at Oxfam’s annual Bonhams book auction. The first edition book fetched a payout of double its estimated price.

Only 1,500 copies of Beckett’s first ever novel ‘Murphy’ were published in 1938. The copy that was auctioned off at Bonhams is believed to be only one of the few that has survived with its original dust jacket.

Geoff Smith, the charity shop’s book specialist, spotted the original edition of ‘Murphy’ which was donated to Oxfam Books And Music in Berkhamstead, in Hertfordshire.

Smith said, "I'm absolutely delighted at the amount the book has raised for Oxfam. I knew as soon as I saw it that it might be important, but after some initial research on the internet it was clear that it was rare and likely to be valuable.”

"We contacted Oxfam's expert team as well as Bonhams and soon realised that it was something very special. It's wonderful that we were able to maximise the money made from this extremely generous donation and so raising as much money as possible for Oxfam's projects fighting poverty around the world."

The edition of Beckett’s ‘Murphy’ was one of several rare books donated to Oxfam’s charity shops during the year and were auctioned on June 26 at Bonhams.

Beckett’s ‘Murphy,’ along with other rare finds, helped generate more than $32,000 for the Oxfam charity. The money raised can pay for six water tanks providing tens of thousands of liters of clean, safe water to families in places like Niger, West Africa.


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