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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Harold Pinter's library book is returned after pause of 59 years

Harold Pinter's library book is returned after pause of 59 years"In 1950 Harold Pinter borrowed a first edition book by Samuel Beckett from the Central Library in Bermondsey. There was a pause before the library saw it again. A 59-year pause, to be precise, lengthy even by the late Nobel prize-winning playwright's standards. Pinter had no intention of returning Murphy - describing the prolonged loan as an act that he had 'never regretted' - but now the antiquarian bookseller that sold Pinter's library has returned the book so that he can buy it back off Southwark Council for GBP2,000 and reunite it with the rest of the collection. Pinter died last Christmas Eve, and the London antiquarian booksellers Maggs Bros have been preparing a catalogue of his nearly 5,000 books after their sale to a private collector. Among them was a very rare first edition of Murphy, published in 1938, bound in dark green cloth and lettered in gilt. It has a library binding, showing that this copy belonged to the Central Library in Bermondsey, southeast London" - Times

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