Gloucestershire

Richard Adams' books collection sold at auction

A complete set of first editions by Jane Austen Image copyright Dominic Winter Auctioneers
Image caption A set of Jane Austen first editions sold for nearly £79,000

Hundreds of books, once owned by Watership Down author Richard Adams, have been sold for more than £250,000.

Among them were first editions of work by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and George Eliot, a 1638 Bible and a Shakespeare Second Folio.

About 1,500 books were sold on behalf of the writer's family, at Dominic Winter Auctions in Cirencester.

Adams, who was born in 1920, in Newbury, Berkshire, died last Christmas Eve aged 96.

The complete set of Austen first editions fetched £78,870, including buyer's fees.

It was bought by an anonymous private buyer from southern England, the auctioneers said.

Shakespeare's Second Folio sold for £47,800, a first edition Samuel Johnson dictionary made £10,994, and the 1638 Bible, bound for King Charles II, made £5,019.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Richard Adams died aged 96 in December last year

Also going under the hammer were Thomas Hardy and Anthony Trollope first editions, a signed copy of Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie, and a signed copy of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, which went for £9,560.

The books were divided into 134 lots.

Auctioneer Nathan Winter described the sale as "incredible".

"The family were there to see it go. I think they were thoroughly satisfied," he said.

He said some of the texts had fetched high prices due to them being "antiquarian rarities".

"Richard Adams, when he came into proceeds from his own books, had the means to buy rare titles and became quite a bibliophile. They always were, and are still, rare.

"Also, with the added association with his own ownership, of a famous writer, something intangible but important is added to the value, and that is reflected in the prices we got."

Image copyright Dominic Winter Auctioneers
Image caption A copy of the Shakespeare Second Folio fetched £47,800 and a first edition Samuel Johnson dictionary made £10,994

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