Rare first edition of Frankenstein sells for £856,000

Picture: Christie’s

An “exceptionally rare” first edition book of Frankenstein has been sold for £856,000.

The lot was estimated at £220,000.

Only 500 copies of the seminal work by Mary Shelley were printed in 1818.

She was aged 18 when she wrote the novel.

She’d been challenged to write a ghost story by her friend Lord Byron.

A spokesperson for Christie’s said:

“The first edition in its original boards is incredibly fragile and as a result very scarce, so a copy like this, particularly in fine condition, is highly desirable to collectors.

“Overall, it’s a very strong market and we are seeing increased demand for fine examples of literary high spots.”

Frankenstein is regarded as one of the world’s first science-fiction novels.


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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