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Rare James Bond manuscript could fetch $128K at auction

The 57-year-old 'Diamonds Are Forever' manuscript features handwritten corrections by Ian Fleming.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Nov 30, 2012 8:25PM

Everyone seems to have James Bond fever these days. The recent release of “Skyfall,” the 23rd in the series of popular spy flicks, became the first James Bond movie to earn more than $200 million, according to The Huffington Post.

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Having all eyes focused on the international franchise may help the sale of a rare manuscript of "Diamonds Are Forever" that features novelist Ian Fleming’s handwritten edits on nearly every page.

Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine collectibles, is conducting the auction and estimates the script could snag as much as £80,000, or roughly $128,000.

The 265-page manuscript was prepared by Fleming’s real-life Miss Moneypenny, secretary Ulrica Knowles, and typed up at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica in 1955. It’s accompanied by a first edition of the completed novel, which contains a note: “To Rica, Who wrote it. From Ian Fleming.” This novel will be up for auction as well, and it is expected to fetch £9,000 (close to $15,000 in U.S. dollars).

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What makes this manuscript such a find is the extensive changes throughout the pre-edited text. The names of several key characters have been altered and complete paragraphs have been cut.

“There is a huge amount of interest in Ian Fleming and James Bond at present,” Dr. Gabriel Heaton, a literature specialist at Sotheby's, who is conducting the auction was quoted in The Telegraph.

"There are relatively few manuscripts and typescripts of the James Bond novels which come to the market,” Heaton went on to explain in the article. "It is a very unusual thing to have and would make a magnificent addition to a collection, whether it be an institution or a private James Bond collection."

Mark your calendars, 007 enthusiasts! The two items go for sale at Sotheby's in London next month.

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Photo: Ian Fleming (AP)

Read the fully story at The Telegraph.

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