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Lonesome Dove author to sell his collection of 1,000 H.G. Wells sci-fi classics
H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, An Invention, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1895.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Larry McMurtry Collection of H.G. Wells will be auctioned in New York, April 8-9, 2015, as part of Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books Signature® Auction. Roughly 1,000 books from the collection of the Pulitzer Prize and Oscar™ winning writer of Lonesome Dove and The Last Picture Show — who is equally famous in his own right as a used bookseller — by or relating to legendary sci-fi pioneer H.G. Wells will be offered, all of them from McMurtry’s personal collection.

“The books of H.G. Wells hold a special place in the science-fiction community,” says James Gannon, Director of Rare Books at Heritage Auctions. “War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau have iconic pop-culture status. Add to that the provenance of Larry McMurtry and you have early editions that will be highly prized.”

It’s been nearly three years since McMurtry, now 78, began whittling down his bookstore in Archer City, TX. To date, he’s auctioned nearly 300,000 books from Booked Up, the shop he opened in 1988. This aspect of the reduction, however, offers a more personal selection of items. Each of the books includes a McMurtry’s bookplate — which resembles the brand his father used on his cattle.

“I don’t know when that brand was established, at least the 1930s, maybe the 1920s,” said McMurtry. “I’ve put it on maybe 30,000 books... only the books I wanted to keep. I put this brand on more books than my father did on cattle!”

The Wells Collection is extensive, varied in content and price points, and with impeccable association copies (from Wells to Henry James and to Wells from Olaf Stapledon, for example), a small handful of absolute rarities and a film ephemera archive.

Highlights include, but are not limited to:

• H.G. Wells, Tales of Space and Time, London: Harper & Brothers, 1900: First edition inscribed by the author to Henry James with an original drawing of Ugh-lomi, the axe-wielding caveman protagonist of “A Story of the Stone Age,” one of this volume's five collected short stories. Estimate: $7,500+.

• H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, An Invention, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1895: True first edition of Wells's debut novel, preceding the William Heinemann edition with significant textual variations. Author's name misprinted “H. S. Wells” on title page. Estimate: $5,000+.

• H. G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau, London: William Heinemann, 1896: First edition in scarce trial binding. Estimate: $2,500+.

• H. G. Wells, The Invisible Man. A Grotesque Romance, London: C. Arthur Pearson, 1897: First edition, signed by the author on the title page. One of Wells’ most famous works and one of the most famous books of the last 150 years. Estimate: $4,000+.

• H. G. Wells, The Door in the Wall. And Other Stories, Illustrated with Photogravures from Photographs by Alvin Langdon Coburn, New York& London: Mitchell Kennerley, 1911: First edition, collection of eight short stories. Estimate: $2,000+.

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