Capote's original Breakfast at Tiffany's manuscript brings $255,500

The final manuscript of Truman Capote's celebrated novella Breakfast at Tiffany's auctioned at RR Auction yesterday (April 25) for $255,556 - a 2.2% increase on its $250,000 top estimate.

April 25 marks the first time this fascinating, 84 page manuscript has ever been offered at auction.

Truman Capote manuscript auction
Capote's final working draft is typed on what the author describes as "a very special certain kind of yellow paper"

Capote once said of his writing habits: "Essentially I think of myself as a stylist and stylists can become notoriously obsessed with the placing of a comma, the weight of a semi-colon."

Duly, the author's final working manuscript exhibits a mass of revisions: "mad" becomes "vexed", "keep" is changed into "prevent", and "touch" is disregarded in favour of "stroke".

Perhaps the most important alteration evidenced by the manuscript, however, is Capote's decision to change the name of his flighty female protagonist from Connie Gustafson to Holly Golightly.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, Capote's best known work, was completed in the Spring of 1958. Although he had promised it to Harper's Bazaar, the magazine never published the work, considering the language too lewd.

Esquire magazine subsequently published the piece, later launching the novella to its 1961 silver screen adaptation, which famously stars Audrey Hepburn as the skittish Golightly.

Recent manuscript sales suggest the market is booming. A handwritten fragment of John Keats' poem I Stood on Tiptoe on a Little Hill (Endymion) brought £181,250 ($278,527) to Bonhams London on April 10 - a new world record price for a Keats manuscript at auction.

We have a wealth of book and manuscripts in stock, including this limited edition, autographed copy of Virginia Woolf's Orlando.

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