Alan Turing, Engima-breaking mathematician and Benedict Cumberbatch lookalike, never wrote much during his life — manuscripts and diaries are hard to come by. The best remaining example was a 56-page notebook working on “the foundations of computer science”, which just sold at auction for $1,025,000.

The original Bonhams press release on the auction boasted a sale estimate of “at least seven figures”, so the auction house only narrowly avoided embarrassment thanks to a mysterious bidder. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity.

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The notebook was passed to Turing’s friend and mathematician, Robin Oliver Gandy following Turing’s death. Gandy used the central pages of the journal as a dream journal for a time, and as such, the notebook was never included in the publicly accessible Turing Archive, and was never seen (or heard of) until the recent auction. [Bonhams]


Contact the author at chris@gizmodo.com.

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