Tayside and Central Scotland

Stirling teacher's book collection could fetch £230,000 at auction

A Christmas Carol
Image caption A first edition of A Christmas Carol is among the books being auctioned

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.

John Sibbald, book specialist at the auctioneers, said: "It is astonishing that a private collector could assemble this kind of collection, particularly relying chiefly on a school teacher's salary.

"For me the outstanding items in the sale include the collection of works by Alexander Pope, Seamus Heaney, Tom Stoppard and the works of Yeats. The run of publications from the Cuala Press, the press established by Yeats' sisters, also spring to mind."

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