People talk 7/8/03

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

First edition Austen novel auctioned off

LONDON -- A book expert working for a Scottish auction house has found a rare first edition of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" -- the second time he's made such a find in a year.

The three-volume edition, which will be up for bids today at auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull, was found among 70 boxes of dusty volumes in an Edinburgh warehouse.

The London-based owner of the books had asked the auction house's book expert, John Sibbald, to look through the newly inherited boxes.

"Generally speaking, it is thought lightning doesn't strike twice but it seems to be striking fairly regularly now," Sibbald said.

"The owner hadn't looked at the books so we didn't know what to expect and when we laid them all out, one of the first things we found was another set of first edition 'Pride and Prejudice."'

The previous first edition of "Pride and Prejudice" that Sibbald found sold for $64,000 at auction last July.

Sibbald said early editions of Austen books command high prices and international interest. Scholars believe between 1,000 and 1,200 copies of the first edition of "Pride and Prejudice" were printed in 1813.

Actress studies feline behavior for latest role

PHILADELPHIA -- To get into character to play a vampire, Peta Wilson sat in front of the TV.

Best known for her four-year stint as a sultry assassin on TV's "La Femme Nikita," Wilson watched videos of cats and rented a Vanessa Redgrave film before tackling "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

"I looked at Vanessa Redgrave in 'Isadora,' because Isadora Duncan was like a real-life vampire -- she sucked the life out of the people. And I watched films of cats, of jaguars, panthers, leopards, because there was something catlike about my character," the 32-year-old actress told The Philadelphia Inquirer for Sunday's editions.

In "League," the blond Australian becomes a tall, raven-haired Brit, Mina Harker of Bram Stoker's "Dracula." The movie is based on the comic books by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill.

The film, opening Friday, also features fantasy figures Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah), the Invisible Man (Tony Curran), Tom Sawyer (Shane West), Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend) and Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde (Jason Flemyng), with global adventurer Allan Quatermain -- played by Sean Connery.

Sen.Hillary Clinton finds fans in Germany

BERLIN -- For about 200 German fans of Hillary Rodham Clinton, getting an autographed copy of her memoirs seemed secondary to the hope of meeting a possible future U.S. president.

"It's easier to put up with the world if one can carry the hope of having had a future U.S. president before them," said Rainer Raider, who went to a Berlin store Sunday evening for the signing.

Clinton gave no statement to the press, but her spokesman, Philippe Reines, echoed the former first lady's frequently repeated denial that she has any presidential ambitions.

The German translation of Clinton's book "Living History," which went on sale here June 10, already has sold 120,000 copies, said Margit Ketterle of the Econ house, which published the book. For the second week, it was No. 2 on Der Spiegel's nonfiction best seller list.

For Ingo Segiet, who came dressed in a jacket made out of a U.S. flag, it was a chance to demonstrate that despite differences between Washington and Berlin over the Iraq war, many Germans are still warm toward Americans.

"She fascinates me," Segiet said of Clinton. "I wish for the American people that this woman would become president one day."

Diamond implants help singer's smile to sparkle

NEW YORK -- Monica's smile is brighter than most, but it's not just because of her pearly whites -- the singer had diamonds implanted in two of her teeth.

The 22-year-old R&B singer had diamonds placed on her lower teeth a couple years ago. While plenty of rappers have made gold or platinum teeth popular, diamonds seem a bit unusual, but Monica doesn't think it's a big deal.

"People up here (in New York) don't wear gold teeth, platinum teeth and all that stuff as much as we do in the South," the Atlanta resident told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

"It's kind of like our own thing that we do. But instead of me getting a gold tooth or platinum tooth, I just got a diamond tooth, because that's what I like."

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