Truman Capote‘s typed Breakfast at Tiffany’s manuscript was sold at auction late last month for a whopping $306,000. The 1958 manuscript contains Capote’s handwritten edits, which number up to a dozen changes per page. Perhaps the most significant change is the heroine’s name: originally Connie Gustafson, Capote crossed out every mention of the name and replaced it with Holly Golightly. (Good call, Capote!) More than a hundred different names were used in various drafts before Capote settled on Golightly. The character, of course, was immortalized in popular culture by Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal in the 1961 film adaptation.
The story was originally commissioned for Harper’s Bazaar magazine but was pulled at the last minute because of the sexual nature of Golightly’s lifestyle. It was published in the November 1958 issue of Esquire magazine and shortly thereafter was published by Random House along with three other short stories by Capote.
The manuscript was sold to a Russian billionaire, Igor Sosin, by RR Auction. The auction house reports that Socin plans to display it in Moscow and Monaco.
The movie is great, but if you haven’t read the novella do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. It’s a wonderful story and beautifully written.