Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hilary Mantel limited editions, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies


Here are two recent additions to my library: 4th Estate's limited editions of Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. Both titles are the product of some relentless internet searching, as it's grown quite difficult to find these two at reasonable prices. While these aren't the most collectible states of both these titles, they'll make a striking collection once Mantel concludes her Cromwell-era series. I'm confident that 4th Estate will continue these limited editions in the same format for the rest of Mantel's series, and a full set will be quite a collectible item.

If I remember correctly, the cloth-bound limited edition of Wolf Hall came out after the novel won the 2009 Booker. Reportedly printed in a run of 2,000 copies, each book is signed on the title page. These originally appeared in stores with a list price of 35 GBP. So, not as rare as the first edition first printing that I had and sold (it was a lined copy, too!) but one that's rising substantially in price. Abebooks currently has its cheapest copy at 250 GBP. But, go on eBay, right now: there are a handful of sellers who are curiously selling copies at around 50-60 GBP ($100).

Bring Up The Bodies is approaching a similar rarity level: the clothbound edition was released with the first printing of the book, so a lot of copies have been snatched up already. There ARE still copies out there at the 35 GBP list, though: ignore the $100+ listings on eBay and head over to www.foyles.co.uk while their stock lasts.

Currently reading:
Umbrella by Will Self
The Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio

Currently listening to:
The State of the Union


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  2. This is a superb, well-written, compelling fictionalized account of Cromwell's rise--powerful, carefully crafted. Hilary Mantel seems to be a careful researcher and thoughtful re-creator of characters and events that make the well-known historical personages believably complex--as they really were!