A total of 35 of William McGonagall's works - many of them autographed – were put up for auction in Edinburgh. They went for more than a collection of Harry Potter first editions signed by author JK Rowling. The new owner's bid for the poems was £5,500, but once commission is included they will have to fork out £6,600, while the Harry Potter books sold for a laughable £6,000.
David Kett from the library service in Dundee believes much of the criticism McGonagall receives is unjustified. "He's really popular because he promoted himself to an enormous extent and he produced this interesting and unique verse, which has resonated down the ages," he said. "Because some people take offence with it and ridicule it, they fail to realise what McGonagall is trying to say, which is a narrative of all the events he saw It's bad in parts, but there are parts of the poetry where he does achieve a certain extent of lyricism, describing one of the country parks he mentions 'the bees buzzing in the lyme trees' - really conjures up the image."