Fans of Laurie Lee, the author of Cider with Rosie, will be able to take home a piece of literary history if they travel to an auction house in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, this week.
The vintage Corona travelling typewriter used by the late author is to go under the hammer, along with other items from Lee's former cottage in the village of Slad.
Cathy Lee, the wife of the novelist who died in 1997, has instructed Wotton Auction Rooms to sell the typewriter, an 18th-century comb-back Windsor chair, a Victorian library chair and a large chest. The typewriter has a low estimated price of between £40 and £60.
"I would have thought someone who is fond of Laurie's writing might like to have it," Lee's widow said yesterday. "We are only putting a few things in the sale. It is a question of making more room for us."
The Windsor chair in elm and beech wood has an estimate of £100-£150 and the library chair of £60-£80.
"He would have sat on the smaller chair at his desk while he worked," she said.
Philip Taubenheim, director at Wotton Auctions Rooms, said: "The pieces are modest in nature – a true reflection of the austere rural life of his earlier days." The auction, which runs on Tuesday and Wednesday, will also include a clock removed from the Queen's Elm pub in Chelsea, one of Lee's favourite London haunts.
It was followed by As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991) and is an account of Lee's childhood in Slad after the first world war.
The second book deals with his move to London and his first trip to Spain. The third book tells of his return to Spain to join the Republican International Brigades.
Lee worked as a journalist and as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist, and during the second world war made documentary films for the General Post Office film unit (1939–40) and the Crown Film Unit (1941–43).
Sixty years ago this month he was caption-writer-in-chief for the Festival of Britain, a service which earned him the Order of the British Empire in 1952. He died of cancer in Slad in 1997, at the age of 82, and is buried in the local churchyard.