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Inscription in Rare "Around the World in Eighty Days"

Jason Cooper | Published on 12/30/2022
This week I was perusing the list of "Most Expensive Sales in 2022" by AbeBooks imagining what it would be like to own one of these amazing works of art.

I was however very surprised to see at #6 a copy of "Around the World in Eighty Days"; or more accurately "The Tour of the World in 80 Days". Of course with this being our competition book for next year I was immediately drawn to the article. It was a first American printing but rebound in 1952 in green calf leather and sold for $US30,000. Unfortunately there was no picture of the book itself provided however the article provided some details that were included with the book.

First of all the book was owned by Mrs. Nellie W. Pillsbury, Grandmother of author Stephen King. But more interestingly there was a handwritten note from Verne that was included with the book. The note was dated October 1883 and written in a beautiful hand:

Note from Around the World in Eighty Days

I am lucky enough to have a friend that is fluent in French and asked him to translate for me and provide the French. I believe this was no easy task as the writing was hard to discern in places but he came through.

In French:

Cher Monsieur,
Je ne puis mieux reprondre à votre amiable lettre qu' on vous recommandant les Deux
volumes qui vous paraître en 1884, L'Étoile du Sud, et L'Archipel en feu.

Veuillez vie vrai tout votre,

Jules Verne


Dear Sir,

I can not better reply to your friendly letter by recommending the two volumes that will appear (as in be published) in 1884, "The Star of the South" [Known also as "The Southern Star" or "The Vanished Diamond"], and "The Archipelago on Fire".

Please [meaning wishing you to have] a fully true life,

Jules Verne.

In addition there was a handwritten note from American author Nellie Bly tipped into the book. Nellie Bly was inspired by Jules Verne made her own trip around the world and write a book called "Around the World in Seventy-Two Days".

See more of the most expensive books sold here.