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  • HG Wells manuscript to sell in New York
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • HGmanuscripttoWells

HG Wells manuscript to sell in New York

A manuscript for HG Wells' When the Sleeper Wakes will sell at Bonhams New York.

It's expected to make $120,000-180,000 in the April 11 Fine Literature sale.

HG Wells Bonhams
When the Sleeper Wakes was serialised in 1899

The lot is an early draft consisting of chapters 12 to 25 and includes handwritten annotations from the author.

The book tells the story of a man named Graham, who falls into a coma in 1897 and wakes up in 2100.

Wells was dissatisfied with the way the book turned out and republished it in heavily edited form in 1910, retitling it The Sleeper Awakes.

As he explained in the foreword to this later edition: "Like most of my earlier work, it was written under considerable pressure; there are marks of haste not only in the writing of the latter part, but in the very construction of the story."

Bonhams comments: "Manuscripts by H.G. Wells rarely come to the market, presumably in part due to the process that Wells describes in this note, constantly changing and amending each chapter, as sometimes shown in this manuscript, ultimately to the point of almost complete destruction of his first words.

"In the last 40 years just 3 substantial (over 50 leaves) typed or manuscript stories by Wells have appeared at auction. This was the last to be offered, 22 years ago."

The auction will also feature a complete manuscript copy of Arthur Conan Doyle's Adventure of the Greek Interpreter (1893), which is estimated to make up to $290,000.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • HGmanuscripttoWells