A signed hardback copy of Morrissey‘s Autobiography has sold for £8,300 on eBay, in an auction to raise money for the animal charity Peta.
The winning bid was one of 87 for the special Christmas edition of the book, which was originally published in paperback.
The auction is the latest episode in a decades-long collaboration between Morrissey, a vegetarian since childhood, and Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). He recently joined a host of celebrities – including Joanna Lumley, Roger Moore and Ricky Gervais – in backing a campaign to stop Fortnum and Mason selling pate de foie gras.
In an interview with the charity in 1985, the former Smiths frontman said: “Eating meat is the most disgusting thing I can think of. It’s like biting into your grandmother.”
Reminiscing about the Smiths’ Meat Is Murder, he said: “As soon as we had decided on that as the title track, it made the headlines in the British newspapers and got very wide attention. That whole subject is very controversial over there and so Meat Is Murder was an extension of it. The big crime of the whole matter was that the title song did not get any airplay on the daily radio. The album entered the charts at number one but they never played the title song!”
Announcing the results of the auction on its website, Peta said: “Whether it’s the meat industry’s mutilation of cows, chickens and pigs or the fur industry’s electrocution of animals for their fur, Morrissey has spoken out against it … Animals in need of help have no better friend than Morrissey.”
Autobiography, by Morrissey, has become one of the bestselling titles of the year since it was published as a Penguin Classic in October. The singer’s love of animals did not inhibit his adjectival exuberance, which included sneering at the “pot-dog pudginess” of princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Reviewing the book in the Guardian, Terry Eagleton wrote: “Perhaps the time has come for a new career. If he could get treatment for his addiction to alliteration and stop using phrases like “for you and I”, this prodigiously talented “small boy of 52″, as he described himself two years ago, could walk away with the Booker prize.”
A signed paperback edition of Autobiography is currently available on ebay with a top bid of £79.