'Pride and Prejudice' fetches 140,000 pounds at auction

The book, when first published in three volumes in 1813, cost 18 shillings - just 90 pence in today's money. The masterpiece, in which the heroine Elizabeth Bennet falls for the dashing Fitzwilliam Darcy, has since sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, according to the Daily Mail.

The book was among 149 volumes sold by London-based auction house Sotheby's for an anonymous 75-year-old collector, raising more than 3.1 million pounds.

The auction also included a signed first edition of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, which went for 181,250 pounds.

An 1847 first edition of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" fetched 163,250 pounds, more than double its estimated price.
A collection of poems by William Shakespeare published in 1640 sold for 135,250 pounds and Charles Darwin's "On The Origin Of The Species" fetched 127,250 pounds.

A 1922 edition of "Ulysses" by James Joyce went for 121,250 pounds and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" from 1818 fetched 115,250 pounds, the report said.

Sotheby's Peter Selley said it took the wealthy collector 45 years to amass his "extraordinary library". "The quality drew bids from around the world," he was quoted as saying.

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