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‘Imitation Game’ code breaker Alan Turing’s notebook fetches over $1M at auction

Alan Turing
Alan Turing

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He died in 1954 of cyanide poisoning. It was ruled a suicide although his family and friends believed it might have been accidental. The notebook was among the papers he left in his will to friend and fellow mathematician Robin Gandy.

Gandy gave the papers to The Archive Centre at King’s College in Cambridge in 1977. But he kept the notebook, using its blank pages for writing down his dreams at the request of his psychiatrist. Bonhams describes Gandy’s entries as highly personal; the notebook remained in his possession until he died in 1995.

At the beginning of his journal, Gandy writes: “It seems a suitable disguise to write in between these notes of Alan’s on notation, but possibly a little sinister; a dead father figure, some of whose thoughts I most completely inherited.”

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In a statement through Bonhams, Turing scholar Andrew Hodges said the notebook sheds more light on how Turing “remained committed to free-thinking work in pure mathematics.”

“The Imitation Game,” which also stars Keira Knightley, is based on Hodges’ book “Alan Turing: The Enigma.”

Bonhams said the buyer wished to remain anonymous. Part of the proceeds will be donated to charity.

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