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Rare books and letters go up for auction

11th March 2011

A rare collection of books and letters has gone up for auction at Trinity College Dublin, including a first edition of The Horse and His Boy from C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia.

The three-day auction will feature almost 30,000 items and includes a signed letter from Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield, to Sir Arthur Helps, dated December 21st 1871.

Found inside a volume of the first edition of his novel Endymion, the letter invites Helps to dinner to meet Odo Russell, the first British Ambassador to the German Empire, and will be auctioned alongside a limited edition signed copy of Loving and Giving by Molly Keane.

Other rare items being sold over the weekend include first editions of A Handbook of Irish Folklore by Sean O'Suilleabhain and The Botanist in Ireland by Robert Lloyd Praeger, originally published in 1934.

Last year, a collection of rare items found in Gloucestershire libraries, including mid-19th century editions of Punch magazine and Archaeologia journals, helped to raise almost GBP 10,000, which was then reinvested into the local libraries budget.

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