JENNIFER PLATT | Frankly, that’s a monstrous amount of money

One of the first 500 copies of ‘Frankenstein’, printed in 1818, has broken an auction record

22 September 2021 - 21:05

It was breaking news this week in the book world - the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein sold for a record-breaking $1.17m. That’s 17,279,496,00 ronds. It drives me nuts when people use the word ronds, but it seems apt here for emphasis on the ridiculous nature of currency. Apparently it was an “exceptionally rare” first edition and the record-breaking part is that it broke the world auction record for a printed work by a woman. 

So that made me curious. What was the most expensive book auctioned that was written by a non-woman? That was The Birds of America by John James Audubon, which sold in 2010 for $11.5m at Sotheby’s. That’s 169,876,275,00 ronds...

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