I have noticed a large amount of manuscripts of apparently unpublished Bradbury short stories appearing on ebay recently. All are from the same seller and all claim to be one of only 3 authentic copies made by made by William F. Nolan, Donn Albright and Bruce Francis. They are selling for around $100 each.
Am I right in being sceptical about these?Especially as they seem to have UK-English spelling in the samples shown (i.e. grey, not gray).
Titles include 'The Way it all Happened', 'The Meadow', 'The Tar-pit murder', 'The Mesa' etc - there are lots more!
Hi portugal7, and welcome.
I've taken a look, and those eBay listing purport to be from Donn Albright himself. (He is Ray's longtime bibliographer.)
I'm currently trying to check whether these are for real. I'll post here if I find anything out.
Further to the above, while I can't confirm the "real identity" of the eBay seller or the legitimacy of the sale, it does seem likely that these are genuine copies as claimed.
I have no explanation for the UK-English spelling, except to speculate that those samples might have been manuscripts prepared for circulation to British (or Canadian or Australian) publications.
Had this reply from Jon Eller, Director, Center for Ray Bradbury Studies
'Thanks for your inquiry about the unpublished stories. I haven't had a chance to go online, but the facts as presented are essentially correct. This is one of the three sets made in the late 1970s from a folder of originals. We work with copies of most of the known manuscripts (published and unpublished) here at the Bradbury Center, and we found early on that Ray's preferred spelling has always been "grey"; in spite of his Midwest and West Coast upbringing, he used this spelling fairly consistently from the beginning of his career. Many of his publishers styled him to "gray" when the stories reached print.'
I am still gobsmacked that unpublished and unread Bradbury manuscripts are selling on ebay for $100-200, but it seems this may well be the case !
But remember: these are copies, not originals. I would expect a genuine typescript that has actually been through Bradbury's typewriter to be worth a lot more.
And if the stories are unpublished, then the rights to them belong (probably) to the Bradbury estate, so whoever buys these can't do much with them.
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