2004 – Tolkien’s Gown: and Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books – Hardcover – Rick Gekoski –

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184119929X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841199290
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces

Based on the popular BBC Radio 4 series Rare Books, Rare People, “Tolkien’s Gown” and Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books is a veritable feast of the tales behind some of the most iconic titles to have graced British publishing, and fascinating anecdotes about the authors who wrote them. It starts with the story of how Graham Green arranged a meeting in his hotel room to sell a signed copy of “Lolita” for £4,000 to the author of this book, Rick Gekoski, over a glass or ten of vodka. He resold the book for £9,000 in his hungover state the next day to Elton John’s lyricist Bernie Taupin and in later years, it went on to fetch $264,000 at auction in Christies. With all the other behind-the-scenes stories, this becomes a gem of a book, tales about Tolkien, Potter, Orwell, Larkin, Hemingway and more, representing a treasure trove of trivia for book fans.