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  • On the Road first edition to auction for $40,000?
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • firstOnRoadthe

On the Road first edition to auction for $40,000?

A Jack Kerouac-inscribed first edition presentation copy of the seminal, beat generation novel On the Road is expected to bring £25,000 ($40,192) to Sotheby's London on July 10.

On the Road auction
Kerouac typed On the Road between 1947 and 1951 on a single scroll of paper. The original scroll was bought in 2001 by American football magnate Jim Irsay for $2.43 million

Preserved in a black morocco clamshell case, and boasting its original dust jacket, the slim volume was a gift from the iconoclastic author to his cousin Harvey's wife, Doris Kerouac.

Jack writes in his typically truncated style: "To Doris / Great party! / Jack Kerouac".

A film version of the book was released in 2012.

In April 2004, a first edition of On the Road complete with an extensive inscription by Kerouac to editor William Targ, made $66,000 at Sotheby's, while an autographed UK first edition of another semi-autobiographical novel The Dharma Bums brought $24,000 in December 2003.

Sotheby's assert: "With one exception, Kerouac did not undertake promotional signings for his work, so inscribed copies of his books are comparatively rare."


Kerouac and his contemporaries Alan Ginsberg and William Burroughs gave voice to a politically dissident and increasingly disenfranchised generation during the 1950s.

Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we have a vast array of fascinating memorabilia pertaining to the lives of icons through the ages, including this Bob Dylan-autographed set list in stock.

  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • firstOnRoadthe