It’s an impossibility to find one today let alone one in pristine condition, but a recently discovered first edition copy of Samuel Beckett’s novel ‘Murphy’ is is now set to fetch thousands of euro at a charity auction later this month after a mystery donor handed it in to an Oxfam shop, writes Mark O’Regan.
The Irish author’s work was one of a bundle of books donated to the charity store in Hertfordshire in England last February.
“This person gave in the book for free. I used to be a librarian so I knew straight away it was something special,” Geoff Smith, book specialist at Oxfam, told the Irish Independent yesterday.
He added: “It was the last book at the bottom of a box which was handed in to us. Needless to say we never got anything like this before.”
Described as a ‘comic masterpiece’, ‘Murphy’ was originally published in 1938 and was Beckett’s first novel.
Only 1,500 copies were ever printed. The copy has retained its original dust wrapper which can add thousands of euro to its overall value.
‘Murphy’ goes under the hammer at Bonhams auction house in Oxford on June 26 and is expected to fetch up to €9,900.