Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rare book auction

I see that there are some Janet Frame books up for auction at an Auckland auction house:


Some of the books were inscribed by Janet to her friends John and Rose Marie Beston; another was inscribed to extended family members Robin and Rosemary Gordon. Well-known tenor Robin Gordon was my father Wilson Gordon's first cousin. His German wife Rosemary was also an opera singer. Robin and Rosemary were spectacular gardeners and also bred poultry and dogs. Janet was a frequent visitor to their estate at Manakau, north of Wellington, when she lived at nearby Shannon and Levin.

Of possible interest to Frame fans is another association copy that is for sale at the auction: an edition of Emily Dickinson's poetry, signed for Jess [Whitworth] from Janet [Frame]. Of course Janet loved Emily Dickinson's poems, and it was typical of her to give away something she herself was so fond of. Janet's close friend Jess Whitworth was the author of a prize-winning novel called Otago Interval. She was the first wife of editor Oliver Duff, and mother of sculptor Alison Duff, but is perhaps better known these days as New Zealand author Alan Duff's grandmother.

There are some more details about the auction on the online catalogue:

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