FLEMING (IAN) Typescript manuscript of Diamonds
Lot 42
Sold for £62,400 (US$ 104,883) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Author's final revised typescript of Diamonds Are Forever, marked on the first leaf "To be returned to author for final revision" and containing autograph revisions throughout, marked up by the copy-editor for publication with type-sizes and similar annotations, with "?Libel" deleted and copy for the back of the title-page added ("by the same Author/ Casino Royale/ Live And Let Die/ Moonraker/ First Published 1956"), 277 leaves, numbered to 265, with eleven 'a' numbers, plus two preliminaries, the penultimate leaf (264) lacking, on typing paper, loose in an 'Interscrew' ring binder, 4to, 1955-1956


  • IAN FLEMING'S REVISED TYPESCRIPT OF DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, WITH NUMEROUS AUTOGRAPH ADDITIONS. The typescript is peppered throughout with authorial tweaks, written in Fleming's characteristic blue ballpoint. Many tauten the plot, while some are gloriously inconsequential (to the untrained eye at least): a telephone number, for example, gets altered from Wisconsin 9.00456 to Wisconsin 7.3697. When Bond checks himself into the Hotel Astor it was originally "in front of an elderly woman"; now it is "before a hatchet-faced woman with a bosom like a sandbag". Or, at page 88, "too many expense-account customers" becomes "too much expense-account aristocracy". While most pages contain one or two alterations, more substantial additions appear in eight places: at pages 23 (Bill Tanner's disquisition on American gambling), 79 (Felix Leiter on 'night eye' calluses), 111 (the auctioneer's patter), 119 (a racing announcement), 120 (ditto), 194 (Spang gives Bond a grilling), 221 (Bond receives Tiffany's message), and 263 (the Captain's remarks to Bond). Chapter 17 was originally called "Bond Forces the Race" but becomes "Thanks for the Ride". Every now and then the nagging voice of the publisher's reader can be heard, saying at one point, but surely the world's diamond centre is Amsterdam?

    This script was typed by Fleming's secretary Ulrica Knowles (see the other lots in the present sale). Her work is jokingly acknowledged (as was his custom) in his presentation copy of the book: "To Rica/ who wrote it". The book had originally been typed by Fleming at Goldeneye early in 1955, both the top copy and carbon of the original version being now at the Lilly Library at the University of Indiana. Ours was presumably typed by Mrs Knowles from the Goldeneye typescript: her top-copy going first to the publisher's reader and then to Fleming, with his revisions then being entered onto the carbon. As has already been noted, ours, being the top-copy, is marked "To be returned to author for final revision" (with this deleted to show it had been done). The carbon copy was sold by Sotheby's on 12 December 2002, lot 332. The carbon is marked up by the copy-editor, but has, according to the catalogue, only "two annotations... apparently in the author's own hand". The catalogue further notes that: "Original manuscripts and typescripts of Fleming's major works are extremely rare on the market. Indeed apparently the only ones not in the Lilly Library in Indiana are the present version of Diamonds Are Forever and the typescripts of Chitty-Chitty-bang-Bang".
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