The final revised typescript of Diamonds Are Forever, with Fleming's autograph revisions throughout, also marked up by the copy-editor for publication.London: [1955-6] Stock Code: 145630
Final revised draft of Diamonds are ForeverIan Fleming's revised typescript of Diamonds are Forever, with numerous autograph additions, revealing Fleming's working practices as he honed the fourth Bond novel into its final shape. Original manuscripts and typescripts of Fleming's major works are extremely rare on the market.
The typescript is peppered throughout with authorial tweaks, written in Fleming's characteristic blue ballpoint. Many tauten the plot, while some are apparently minor: a telephone number, for example, gets altered from Wisconsin 9.00456 to Wisconsin 7.3697. Others add vigour to the prose: 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, protesting at one point "but surely the world's diamond centre is Amsterdam?"
This final draft was typed by Fleming's secretary Ulrica Knowles. 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 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. This 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 was marked up by the copy-editor, but had only "two annotations... apparently in the author's own hand".
The typescript: quarto, 277 leaves, numbered to 265, with 11 supernumerary leaves, plus two preliminaries, the penultimate leaf (264) lacking, on typing paper, loose in an "Interscrew" ring binder. 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" struck through to confirm that it has been read for libel, and copy for the back of the title-page added ("by the same Author | Casino Royale | Live And Let Die | Moonraker | First Published 1956"). Housed in a custom black quarter morocco box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Expected signs of use with minor creasing and peripheral nicking to some leaves and gentle rubbing around extremities of binder; in very good condition.
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