Take for instance, Brighton Rock. You might not think it the best of Greene’s oeuvre. That’s not the point. In fact, if all you want is any old Greene first edition, says Angus O’Neill, a rare book dealer and another of the tutors, it’s relatively easy to find others. “Many are worth under a hundred pounds, even with a dust jacket. Brighton Rock, though, is different.” Without a dust jacket, it’s in the high hundreds. With one, it can be £50,000, or £60,000, or more. “The reason for this colossal discrepancy,” O’Neill says, is an odd mix of the technical, logistical and aesthetic.

One is that Brighton Rock became a popular film, and people like a book of a film, even 75 years on. Another, is that it was more successful than the publishers expected. As a consequence, there was an unambitious first print run. There is scarcity.

In contrast, a first edition of Silmarillion, by the then wildly successful Tolkien, struggles to get into three figures — they printed hundreds of thousands.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how ... de-times-luxury-zqskw7grv