Navigate this section

The Third Branch

Rare book find returns to Abrahamson home

Carl Sagan signed a copy of The Dragon of Eden, found at a used book sale “For Seymour and Shirley. With every good wish, Carl.”
Carl Sagan signed a copy of The Dragon of Eden, found at a used book sale "For Seymour and Shirley. With every good wish, Carl."

A first-year UW Law student came across an unexpected treasure when searching through the used books at the UW Library's book sale. James Biggs said he was looking for some summer reading when he picked up a copy of Carl Sagan's "The Dragon of Eden."

When he brought the book home, he noticed an inscription reading "For Seymour and Shirley. With every good wish, Carl." Biggs said he first assumed "Carl" was a coincidence, and not necessarily the book's author. But after researching through some Sagan biographies, he learned Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson's husband, Dr. Seymour Abrahamson, had a friendship with Sagan. He also discovered that the handwriting of the inscription matched Sagan's.

Briggs contacted the chief justice offering to return the book, in case it had been mistakenly donated to the library and ended up in with the used book sale items. On Oct. 29, the book was reunited with its original owner when Biggs brought the book to the chief justice's chambers in the state Capitol. Abrahamson returned the favor by giving Biggs a tour of the Supreme Court hearing room and the conference room.

UW-Law student James Biggs poses with a signed copy of Carl Sagan’s The Dragon of Eden, with the book’s original owner Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson.

UW-Law student James Biggs poses with a signed copy of Carl Sagan's The Dragon of Eden, with the book's original owner Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson.

 

Back to top

Back to The Third Branch current issue