Ten Most Expensive Books by an Irish Writer Sold on AbeBooksby Scott Laming
More from Ireland
There is much more to Irish literature than the previously mentioned heavyweights, listed below is a sample of the vast array of Irish talent to take up the pen.
- Cecelia Ahern (1981-Present) Born in Dublin.
Her first novel PS, I Love You was a number one bestseller in the UK and USA. Her second novel Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) won the German CORINE award.
- John Banville (1945-Present) Born in Wexford.
Multi Award winner for The Book of Evidence (Guinness Peat Aviation), The Sea (Booker), and Kepler (Guardian Fiction Prize)
- Sebastian Barry (1955-Present) Born in Dublin.
Playwright, novelist and poet who in 2009 captured the Costa Book of the Year award for The Secret Scripture.
- Maeve Binchy (1940-Present) Born in Dublin.
Before becoming a novelist Binchy was a journalist with the Irish Times.
- Roddy Doyle (1958-Present) Born in Kilbarrack, Dublin.
He is best known for writing the screenplay to The Commitments as well as his Booker Prize winning in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.
- Anne Enright (1962-Present) Born in Dublin.
Best known for The Gathering which won the Booker Prize in 2007.
Seamus Heaney (1939- Present) Born in Castledawson, Northern Ireland.
Was given the Nobel Literature Prize in 1995 and held the post of Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1989 to 1995.
- Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) Born in Dublin.
Her first novel Under the Net was selected as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century in 2001 and she made Order of the British Empire in 1987.
- Edna O'Brien (1930-Present) Born in Tuamgraney, County Clare. Her trilogy Country Girls was banned in Ireland due to its frank portrayal of the sex lives of the characters.
- Frank O'Connor (1903-1966) Born in Cork City.
Best known for his short stories and memoirs. The Crying Game was partly inspired by O'Connors short story Guests of the Nation.
- Sean O'Faolain (1900-1991) Born in Cork City.
Served on Arts Council of Ireland. Daughter Julia O'Faolain is also a Booker nominated author.
- Colm Tóibín (1955-Present) Born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford.
His book The Master won the IMPAC Dublin Literary award, the LA Times Novel of the year and was shortlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize.
For a relatively small nation, Ireland has a deep and rich literary tradition. Boasting a plethora of highly influential and immensely desirable works, one could build an amazing book collection with only authors of Irish heritage.
To celebrate March 17th and the feast of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and all that the Emerald Isle has given to the world of literature, AbeBooks reveals its 10 most expensive sales of books (and one typewriter) by Irish authors.
AbeBooks' Top Ten Most Expensive Irish Author Sales
1. The Sceptical Chymist: or Chymico-Physical Doubts
Sold for: $18,500
The second English edition of Boyle's critque of the Aristotelian view of all matter being composed of the basic elements earth, air, fire, and water. Published in 1680. Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was born in Lismore Castle.
Sold for: $10,000
First edition published in 1922, limited to 1000 copies of which this is one of 750 numbered copies on handmade paper (this being copy number 346). Joyce (1882-1941) was born in Dublin.Ulysses was first serialized in the journal The Little Review from 1918 to 1920.
3. The Screwtape Letters
Sold for: $9,097
First Edition, First Impression. 8vo. Original black cloth, white paper title label to spine printed in black. C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was born in Belfast. Published in 1942, The Screwtape Letters is a work of Christian satire, a story told in a series of letters from a senior demon.
4. George Bernard Shaw's Typewriter
Sold for: $8,219
Remington Noiseless Portable Typewriter which belonged to the legendary Irish playwright, signed in faded ink "Bernard Shaw, Ayot St Lawrence, Welwyn Herts". George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was born in born in Dublin.
5. Out of the Silent Planet
Sold for: $7,950
Published in 1938, first book from Lewis, including rare original Harold Jones dustjacket. Out of the Silent Planet is the first book in a science fiction trilogy also referred to as the Space Trilogy, Ransom Trilogy or Cosmic Trilogy.
6. Tales Told of Shem and Shaun. Three Fragments from Work in Progress
Sold for: $7,500
First edition, 88 of 100 copies signed by Joyce. Introduction by scholar C. K. Ogden preparing the reader for the astonishing word-games included in the three sections of Joyce's Finnegans Wake included in this volume.
7. A House of Pomegranates
Sold for: $6,507
First edition, limited to 1000 copies, published in 1892. A collection of four fairy tales, published as a second collection for The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Each with a full page illustration by C.H. Shannon. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was born in Rathgar, Dublin.
Sold for: $6,500
Published in 1935 by the Limited Editions Club of New York this edition of the Joyce classic was number 74 of 1500 and was signed by Henri Matisse who contributed the illustrations for the work. Ulysses chronicles the passage through Dublin by the protagonist, Leopold Bloom.
9. The Querist
Sold for: $6,305
First Irish edition, published 1936; The Querist formed a major contribution to political economy and monetary policy in Ireland.Extremely rare with the (much) earlier London pressing having only been discovered in 1926. Berkeley (1685-1753) was born in Dysart Castle, near Thomastown.
10. The Silver Chair
Sold for: $5,645
Rare first edition of the fourth book published from the Chronicles of Narnia series, sixth book chronologically. Published in 1953.
The Silver Chair is the first of two books in the Chronicles of Narnia series in which the Pevensie children do not appear.
More Collectible Irish Authors
The Vicar of Wakefield
1843 Cosway-style binding. Bound in full red crushed morocco. Woodcut illustrations.
Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World (Gulliver's Travels)
1726 Three volumes. Volumes I and II are first edition, second issue.
William Butler Yeats
1924 Macmillan and Co., London. First Edition, in original dust jacket.
First edition published 1897. Inscribed by Bram Stoker.
First Edition in English, First Printing. Signed by Samuel Beckett.