It was, though, not one of the small number of original, limited edition copies produced in 1865 and 1867 for distribution among family and friends.
This was a version published in the normal manner in 1868, by Smith Elder & Co – the queen having expressed her view that the public editions “…should not be so dear, so that everyone can buy it”. This copy did, however, contain an 1872 dedicatory inscription by Victoria to the Honourable Flora Macdonald, who served her as a Maid of Honour from 1847-74 and as a Woman of the Bedchamber from 1874-97.
A lot offering eight first edition copies of Ian Fleming’s 007 novels from Casino Royale of 1953 to You Only Live Twice of 1964 led the Oxford auction. However, these copies lacked the all important dust jackets and the winning bid, albeit way over estimate, was just £3800.
A 1996 first of John Fowles’ The Magus that bore a dedication by the author dated July 1867 was additionally inscribed to Alf from Guy, presumably Guy Green, who directed the 1968 film version, said the cataloguer. It was sold at £520.