Rugby School to sell 'rare' Shakespeare and Dickens books

Image source, Forum Auctions
Image caption,
William Shakespeare's Fourth Folio has an estimate of up to £50,000

A "rare" Shakespeare book being sold by Rugby School is estimated to fetch up to £50,000 at auction.

William Shakespeare's Fourth Folio, from 1685, is one of about 300 books from the school's library going under the hammer.

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and titles from Daniel Defoe and Aristotle are also among volumes expected to fetch the most money.

The school said it was committed to using resources to benefit students.

In 2018, Mail Online reported the private school had raised nearly £15m by selling a large selection of artwork, with one item fetching more than £11m.

The books due to be auctioned next week cover "an impressively wide range of interests", the school said, including mountaineering, botany, sermons, military history, psalms and maps.

Image source, Forum Auctions
Image caption,
The first edition of A Christmas Carol has an estimate of £3,000 to £4,000

A Shakespeare Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies second edition, from 1632, has an estimate of between £20,000 and £30,000.

Aristotle's Politiques, or Discourses of Government, from 1598, and Daniel Defoe's The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, from 1719, both have estimates of up to £6,000.

A first edition of A Christmas Carol, dating back to 1843, is expected to fetch up to £4,000.

Image source, Forum Auctions
Image caption,
The auction will take place next week

Rugby School Group executive head master Peter Green said the decision to sell the "rare books" was "twofold".

"They deserve to be preserved, stored - and enjoyed - in specialist conditions," he said.

"Secondly, the school is committed, as a registered charity, to use its resources to benefit current and future students.

"Rugby School already operates a generous bursary system. It is entirely fitting that the proceeds from the sale of this collection will go towards extending the benefit of a Rugby education."

A spokeswoman said the school was "not in any financial difficulty".

Forum Auctions said the online auction would take place on 18 November at 13:00 GMT.

Image source, Rugby School
Image caption,
Rugby School says it is selling off the works to benefit students

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