London Now

A festival of art and literature

  • Event date 6 June - 15 July
  • Event location London

First Editions Second Thoughts

Christie’s is delighted to present First Editions, Second Thoughts: An Auction in Support of English PEN.

This landmark philanthropic sale, taking place online from 28 June – 12 July, comprises over 80 modern first editions by the greatest writers and artists of our time, each of which have been uniquely annotated or illustrated by their authors.

Highlights include heavily annotated first editions by Margaret Atwood, Hilary Mantel, Julian Barnes, Monica Ali and Ian McEwan, extra-illustrated books by Quentin Blake, Mark Haddon and Max Porter, a poignant commentary by John le Carré, and extraordinary artworks by Ai Weiwei, Tracey Emin, Anthony Gormley and Anish Kapoor.

A selection of lots from First Editions, Second Thoughts will be on view from 6–16 June within The Art of Literature: Auction Highlights Exhibition taking place at Christie’s headquarters in St James’s, London. A full exhibition of all lots will be on show from 8–12 July.

English PEN is one of the world's oldest human rights organisations, championing the freedom to write and the freedom to read around the world.

Highlights

The auction

First Editions, Second Thoughts

First Editions, Second Thoughts: An Auction in Support of English PEN

28 JUNE – 12 JULY | ONLINE AUCTION


Visit our exhibition

London Now | Exhibitions

On view | Christie’s London

Join us and uncover the inspirations behind the great works of art and literature through the centuries — entry is free and open to all.

On view
◆ Art of Literature Auction Highlights Exhibition (6–16 June)
◆ Art of Literature Loan and Selling Exhibition (6 June – 14 July)
◆ First Editions, Second Thoughts: An Auction in Support of English PEN (a selection of lots will be on view from 6–16 June within The Art of Literature: Auction Highlights Exhibition. A full exhibition of all lots will be on show from 8–12 July)

Location
8 King Street
London SW1Y 6QT

Viewing times
Weekdays, 9am – 5pm
Weekends, 12pm – 5pm

*Closed 18 and 19 June
*Extended viewing until 8pm on 4 and 11 July


Enquiries
artofliterature@christies.com

Explore the programme

Selection of books

English PEN lectures series | John le Carré: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
London, 11 June, 10:30am
Streamed online via Zoom

Nick Cornwell discusses his late father John le Carré’s life, legacy, and his annotations in his revolutionary espionage novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold with journalist, author, and filmmaker, Afua Hirsch.


English PEN lectures series | First Editions, Second Thoughts
London, 3 July, 10:30am
Streamed online via Zoom

Writers return to their work and record their thoughts by hand in a First Edition. Anne Enright (The Green Road), Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China), David Nicholls (One Day), Sarah Waters (Tipping the Velvet) and Tracy Chevalier (Girl With a Pearl Earring) discuss their second thoughts.


English PEN lecture series | Philippe Sands – East West Street: Lviv 1945/2022
London, 9 July, 10:30am
Streamed online via Zoom

Human rights lawyer and President of English PEN Philippe Sands reflects on past and current events in Ukraine, free expression and writing, in his own work and across the world.

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English PEN lecture series at Christie's London

In conversation

English PEN lecture series | John le Carré: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

On 11 June, Christie’s invited Nick Cornwell to discuss his late father John le Carré’s life, legacy, and his annotations in his revolutionary espionage novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold with journalist, author, and filmmaker, Afua Hirsch.

Watch a recording from the evening here.