In the midst of the swelling anticipation for Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice In Wonderland, there are perhaps more people than ever who are interested in the original book. An extremely rare first edition of Lewis Carroll’s nearly 150-year-old classic recently sold for $40,000 at California’s Profiles In History auction house.
A copy that once belonged to 10-year-old Alice Liddell, who was Carroll’s inspiration to pen the story in the mid-1800s, was also put under the hammer. Liddell’s father was the Dean of Christchurch College in Oxford, where Carroll was a math professor. Her copy drew in the highest bids for the night, ending at $115,000.
Pat McInally, former punter for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1976 to 1985, was selling the books from his private collection. “I think it is the most important children’s book ever written,” he said in a statement, “so finding a book given to Alice by Lewis Carroll was really exciting.”
McInally said he was selling the books to make room for his most prized collections, the Winnie-the-Pooh books. “I’m hoping to use some of the money I get from this sale on more books by A.A. Milne at a sale coming up soon in London,” he said.
In addition to Alice In Wonderland, the auction also sold a letter signed by Lewis Carroll, dated July 10, 1890.