Samuel Beckett notebooks auctioned for nearly a million pounds

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11 July 2013
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imports_WRI_0-nrpiei00-100000_88841.jpg Samuel Beckett notebooks auctioned for nearly a million pounds
The manuscript of his first novel Murphy, in six exercise books, sold for £962,500 at Sotheby's ...
The manuscript of his first novel Murphy, in six exercise books, sold for £962,500 at Sotheby's yesterday
It was bought by the University of Reading.
The manuscript, handwritten between August 1935 and June 1936, demonstrates Beckett's creative process, containing revisions, corrections and doodles. The original title was 'Sasha Murphy.'
It was the centrepiece of Sotheby's sale of English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations. The estimated price was £800,000-£1.2 million.
Peter Selley, Sotheby's senior specialist in books and manuscripts, said: 'Interest in this remarkable piece of literary history has been truly global. It is unquestionably the most important manuscript of a complete novel by a modern British or Irish writer to appear at auction for many decades. The notebooks contain almost infinite riches for all those – whether scholars or collectors – interested in this most profound of modern writers, who more than anyone else, perhaps, captures the essence of modern man. The manuscript is capable of redefining Beckett studies for many years to come.'
Sir David Bell, vice chancellor of the University of Reading, said: 'It is important that world-renowned institutions such as the University of Reading can continue to fund access to knowledge and the best resources for researchers and students. The acquisition of Murphy will provide unparalleled opportunities to learn more about one of the greatest writers in living memory, if not all time.'

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