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A copy of the Heinemann edition of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men which was sold for £1200 by Keys.

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In blue paper wrappers and sporting pink endpapers and stained top edge, a copy of that Heinemann edition was sold for £1200 by Keys (20% buyer’s premium) in a January 25-26 sale.

Twenty years ago, a copy bearing a few autograph notes by Steinbeck made $2000 at Swanns in New York, but for a straightforward UK first the Aylsham result must surely set a record.

The gilt-lettered blued cloth binding was somewhat faded, but a 1932 first edition (third state) of WE Johns’ first Biggles book, a collection of short stories called The Camels are Coming (previewed in ATG No 2326), was nonetheless sold at £1800 in the Norfolk auction.

Only a copy in a repaired but very rare jacket has made more – £3000 at Dominic Winter in 2004.