W.H. Auden was one of the most popular poets of the 20th century, and he continues to be influential to this day, often a subject of school studies and an inspiration to modern poets. He also wrote essays, film scripts, and operas, though those are less widely-known than his poetry. Despite his wide appeal and fame, because Auden achieved great literary and commercial success in his lifetime, many Auden collectibles are available at reasonable prices.
Beginning Auden collectors have some relatively low-budget entry points, with some signed copies being available for as little as one to two hundred dollars. These are generally works that are not in high demand, such as The Old Man's Road. First editions of W.H. Auden's books, particularly those published later in his life like Homage to Clio, were printed in such high volume that they are still available for cover price. They might be worth collecting for the sentimental collector, but those who collect as an investment should certainly focus on signed and one of a kind pieces.
Some of the most expensive Auden-related collectibles were printed, surprisingly, long after his death. Auden's long-lasting popularity has led to his work continuing to inspire artists, so the most expensive Auden books currently available are actual recent printings with new artwork signed by the artist. Beyond those, the signed or first printings of the librettos for the operas he wrote are some of the most expensive, coming in at several thousand dollars.
Auden, W. H. Poems. Random House, London (1937). 1000 copies.
Auden, W. H. The Dog Beneath the Skin or Where is Francis?. Faber and Faber, London (1935). 2000 copies. First printing has red cloth boards, titles to spine in blue, fore and bottom edges untrimmed.
Auden, W. H. Letters from Iceland. Faber and Faber, London (1937). First printing with green cloth, titles to spine in red and purple, top edge red. Dust jacket. Frontispiece and 48 black and white photographic illustrations, folding map at the end.
Auden, W. H. Another Time. Random House, London (1940). 1500 copies. First printing with orange cloth boards, device to front board and titles to spine gilt.
Auden, W. H. Three Songs for St. Cecilia's Day. Privately Printed, New York (1941). 250 copies. Numbered.
Auden, W. H. The Collected Poetry of W. H. Auden. Random House, New York (1945). First printing. Illustrated vignette on title.
Auden, W. H. The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue. Faber and Faber, London (1948). 3500 copies. First printing signed by author.
Auden, W. H. Nones. Faber and Faber, London (1952). 3000 copies. First UK edition.
Auden, W. H. Two Songs. The Phoenix Book Shop, New York (1968). 126 copies. 26 Lettered, 100 numbered.
Auden, W. H. Five Poems with a Foreword by Edward Mendelson. Labyrinth Editions, Athens (1983). 100 copies. Signed by printer, artist and Edward Mendelson.