Elvis' copy of 'The Prophet' on auction for nearly $30,000

Elvis' copy of Gibran Khalil's 'The Prophet' on auction for nearly $30,000
2 min read
24 July, 2021
Elvis Presley's annotated copy of Gibran Khalil's book The Prophet has been put up on sale for nearly $30,000.
Elvis Presley's copy of The Prophet is up for sale [Getty]

Elvis Presley's annotated copy of Lebanese writer Gibran Khalil Gibran's iconic book 'The Prophet' has been put on the market for nearly $30,000.

Peter Harrington, a rare books dealer based in London, has put up Presley's annotated copy of 'The Prophet' for sale for £19,500 ($26,670) as part of its summer catalogue, according to Lebanese news site The 961.

'The Prophet', which was published in 1923, has been hailed as a timeless spiritual literary masterpiece for decades. It follows the story of Al Mustapha, a prophet, who had conversations with a group of people about the intricacies of life. Each chapter is divided into different topics, which include love, marriage, religion, freedom, pain, and self-actualisation.

Presley was an avid reader, with one of his favourite books being 'The Prophet'. It was said that Presley loved it so much, that he memorised it, his friend Ed Parker wrote in his memoir, Inside Elvis.

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The American rock and roll star who died in 1977 gifted Parker this annotated copy, which is now highly sought after.

"A singer can sing his songs but they must have [an] ear to receive the song. You have within yourself all possibilities to unlock all the answers that plague [one’s] inner heart[.] God will give you the knowledge if you only seek it," Presley’s annotations on this particular copy say.

This is the first time this copy has been placed on sale in the UK. Presley had presented it to his friend Ed Parker, founder of American Kenpo Karate, in 1960, according to Fine Books Magazine.

'The Prophet' has sold more than a million copies around the world and is one of the most translated books in history, available in over 100 languages.

Gibran followed his famous book with 'The Garden of the Prophet', which was published in 1933 after his death in 1931.

It narrates Al-Mustafa's discussions with nine disciples following his return after an intervening absence.

Al-Mustapha is Arabic for "the chosen one" and is also one of the names of Islam's Prophet Mohammed.

Despite his book being secular and Gibril being raised in a Maronite Catholic family, he took inspiration from many mystical traditions.