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First Edition Copy Of “Frankenstein” Sells For Over $1 Million

By Michael Bamidele
20 September 2021   |   1:54 pm
A first edition copy of the classic novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley was sold for $1.17 million at a recent auction in New York. CNN reported that Christie's, which hosted the auction, estimated the book would go for $200,000 to $300,000. The book, however, sold for nearly four to six times as much, setting a…

Frankenstein | Image: Christie’s/CNN

A first edition copy of the classic novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley was sold for $1.17 million at a recent auction in New York.

CNN reported that Christie’s, which hosted the auction, estimated the book would go for $200,000 to $300,000. The book, however, sold for nearly four to six times as much, setting a record for the highest price paid for a published work by a woman, according to Fine Books Magazine.

Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first appeared in the second edition, which was published in Paris in 1821.

Frankenstein | Image: Christie’s/CNN

The copy was one of 500 originally printed anonymously by author Mary Shelley in 1818. It comes in three volumes and features the original hardcover boards. It also includes a preface by her husband, poet Percy Shelley, along with a dedication to her father, William Godwin, a journalist and political philosopher.

According to the description written on the auction website, Shelley wrote a preface to the 1831 edition.

“I busied myself to think of a story,—a story to rival those which had excited us to this task,” she wrote. “One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror—one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.”

This copy was the first to be auctioned since 1985.

Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment.

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