An early uncorrected proof of Ian Fleming's penultimate
James Bond novel 'You Only Live Twice' broke auction
estimates this month...
Playboy's Fleming Manuscript
19th December 2012
It is not often that an original Ian
Fleming manuscript comes
up for auction, so it was of little surprise that an uncorrected
proof of his penultimate James Bond adventure 'You
Only Live Twice' would double the lot estimate when the hammer came down
The uncorrected proof copy for the first English
edition of 'You Only Live Twice', marked up for serial publication
in three parts in Playboy Magazine in April-June 1963,
was last auctioned at Christie's in New York City and sold for
$17,925 in 2003. Almost ten years later, the same document sold
for almost quadruple that amount: £43,250 ($70,000).
Above: The lot as auctioned by
Sotheby's this month (click to enlarge).
The manuscript contains authorial corrections and revisions
in red ink to 53 pages, including changes
for book publication, and further extensive corrections
and emendations, mostly in pencil, by the copyeditor, including
about 16,000 words marked for deletion.
Above: An illustration by Daniel Schwartz published in
Playboy's serialization of 'You Only Live Twice' in
1964 (not included in the Lot)
It also included: One carbon letter from Ian
Fleming (initial-signed) to Michael Howard of Jonathan Cape Ltd.
regarding some Japanese
in the text, two carbon letters from Howard to Fleming in
response to Fleming's letter, one typed and one carbon letter
from Fleming's secretary, B. Griffie-Williams, to Playboy regarding
corrections to the text, the former with Fleming's typed list
of corrections for the proof attached, two
typed letters signed from Fleming's agent Phyllis Jackson to
A.C. Spectorksy submitting the corrected proofs to Playboy, a
two-page typed list of Japanese translations for terms used in
the story (corrected in ink and pencil, some possibly in Fleming's
hand) and related notes from Arlene Bouras at Playboy regarding
word count and storyline. Together 10 items, various sizes, August-December
As with most auctions, the latest buyer has remained anonymous.