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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Teacher's book collection under the hammer

The BBC reports that a Stirling teacher's book trove holds hidden gems

It's amazing what a man can collect on a school teacher's salary.

A first edition of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is among a treasure trove of books being auctioned in Edinburgh this week.

The collection of the late Stirling-born English teacher Bruce Ritchie has an estimated value of up to £230,000.

It also includes first editions of F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, with a note signed by the author.

And a first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses could fetch £3,000.

The copy of The Great Gatsby, the subject of a new film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is expected to fetch about £700. A first edition of children's classic The Wind in the Willows will also be on sale.

Mr Ritchie attended Dollar Academy in Clackmannanshire and studied English and German at St Andrews University before taking up a post at Merchant Taylors' School in London, where he was described as an "inspirational" teacher.

He retired to Stirling and died in October last year.

His collection is being sold by Lyon and Turnbull on Tuesday.


Lady Lainey said...

I knew Bruce very well and we often discussed books, especially Brideshead Revisited which was my favourite. he gave me an old copy of his which I still have and reread every year.
He was a great man as a teacher, cricket lover and friend.

Joan Druett said...

Oddly enough, I have a friend that fits that description in New Zealand. He is a cricket lover, was a teacher, is a fount of knowledge -- and has a vast book collection. After reading this item in the BBC journal, I regarded him with even more respect. It is a privilege to know someone with a passion.

Thank you for your thoughtful post.