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Ian Fleming’s Last Notes on ‘You Only Live Twice’ Before His Death

Edited version of penultimate novel up for auction with Sotheby's on July 12

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For James Bond fans, You Only Live Twice might be one of the best book-and-movie combinations in the series—and a piece of its history is hitting the auction block at Sotheby’s London on July 12. The last novel Fleming published before his death, You Only Live Twice finds Bond a broken man after the death of his wife, Tracy. The spy ends up venturing to Japan for a final showdown with his arch-nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Ironically, the book ends with an obituary of Bond written by his boss, M. With Fleming’s passing just months after the book’s publication, You Only Live Twice is a fitting tribute to the Bond creator.

Sotheby’s is offering a complete, corrected typescript of the book—with proof markings in purple from Fleming’s copyeditor and blue pen from the author himself. Fleming’s typist produced just eight copies of the script for his publisher. Pre-auction estimates put it at $30,000–$40,000. For more on the Fleming typescript, click here. Take a look at the first edited page of Bond’s obituary below.

You Only Live Twice Typescript
Click here to view full size. (Courtesy of Sotheby’s London)