Paul McCartney’s old school Literature book sells for £46,800


A school book Sir Paul McCartney used as a teenager has sold for £46,800 – nearly 10 times its estimate.

The exercise book – which features a doodle of a man smoking and a teacher’s critical comments – sold at an auction of Beatles memorabilia in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside.

One of Sir Paul McCartney‘s old school books, which contains notes and grades written in by his English literature teacher, will be sold at auction next week. (Source NME – Omega auctions)

Omega Auctions in Merseyside will conduct the sale at 11AM on Tuesday (March 26) as part of their ‘The Beatles Collection: Memorabilia & Vinyl Records’ auction, with the auction house estimating that this lot in particular will reach a final price of between £4,000 and £6,000 – although estimates of £10,000 have also been quoted.

Read the other pages here 

The book contains 22 pages of essays on books including Thomas Hardy Return of The Native and Milton’s Paradise Lost. There are also 4 pages of notes on essays at the back along with notes and a doodle of a man smoking on the reverse. All 5 essays in the book have been marked (some with comments) by Mr Durband with Paul receiving a mixed collection of very respectable B’s from B++ to B-.

The green book measures 6.5″ x 8″ and has the school logo on the front cover along with the writing “JPMCARTNEY ESQ. 6AM2 ENGLISH LITERATURE”. In Mark Lewisohn’s book “The Beatles: Tune In” he writes “Paul was now in his final year at the ‘Inny’, class 6AM2, one of the oldest boys in the school…. Was now deep into his Dusty Durband-inspired literary phase. ‘I did most of my reading in (that) little period of my life… I thought it was a bit swotty, a good image… I felt like I was at university’.


All of McCartney’s essays are marked in the book by his teacher Alan “Dusty” Durband, who taught the musician English literature between 1959-60. Durband’s notes and grades can be seen in the book, with the teacher at one point telling his student: “I’d answer the question first before challenging its truth.” See the extract in question below.




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