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Top 10 most collectible Irish books


james-joyce-ulyssesTo celebrate St. Patricks day we decided to reveal the 10 most expensive books ever sold on AbeBooks by an Irish Author. You can check out our full Irish Lit feature, which also includes some great contemporary Irish writers like Sebastian Barry and Maeve Binchy.

1. The Sceptical Chymist: or Chymico-Physical Doubts by Robert Boyle – $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.
2. Ulysses by James Joyce – $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.
cs-lewis-screwtape-letters3. The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis – $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 – $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 by CS Lewis – $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 by James Joyce – $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.
oscar-wilde-house-pomegranates7. A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde – $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.
8. Ulysses by James Joyce – $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 by George Berkeley – $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.
cs-lewis-silver-chair10. The Silver Chair by CS Lewis – $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.

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