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Attacks of Taste Original Letters for Auction :: Sotheby's :: June 17, 2010

| Filed under: Collecting NewsUrulöké | June 3, 2010 @ 1:58 pm (Views: 10083)

Back in 1967-1970, Evelyn Byrne ran a program for New York City's Elizabeth Barrett Browning Junior High School, where she asked major literary and artistic figures of the time to write back with their recollections of what books inspired them while they were teenagers. An assortment of their responses were collected into the book Attacks of Taste, printed in 1971 by Gotham Book Mart. Now, all 600 letters, pictures, and other ephemera are available through the James S. Copley Library sale on June 17th. The letters make up lot number 269 of this auction, with an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000 on the lot.

The book itself is somewhat scarce already, and notable (for readers here) in that it contains a letter from J. R. R. Tolkien where he says in part

"Teenage is a long period and there is a vast gap between one's thirteenth birthday and one's twentieth. I can name no book that influenced me deeply as a book. I found certain elements in books that I liked and stored away in memory. ... In the early part of this period things I read with most pleasure were mostly scientific in reference, especially botany and astronomy ..."

The original Tolkien letter is included in this auction, along with John Updike, Agatha Christie, W. H. Auden, John Barth, Leonard Bernstein, Pearl S Buck, Anthony Burgess, E. B. White, and of course many, many others.


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