Alan Turing’s Notebook Is Available for Auction – For $1 Million

Alan Turing’s Notebook Is Available for Auction – For $1 Million

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Alan-TuringSpurred on the Oscar-nominated Hollywood Film, The Imitation Game, the notebook of Alan Turing – mathematician, codebreaker and the father of modern computing science – will be available for auction in New York in April. But the incredibly unique and insightful document will cost a fair penny as the notebook is expected to sell for at least $1 million.

The manuscript was written by Turing in 1942 when he was working to crack the Nazi’s Enigma code during World War II. Auction House Bonhams said the document is “almost certainly the only extensive autograph manuscript by Turing in existence, and has never been seen in public.”

Turing’s notebook covers the foundations of mathematical notation and computer science and apparently offer “remarkable insight into the thought process of a genius.” The document was contained in notebook bought from Cambridge University, where Turing was a fellow at King’s College. It was left by Turing upon his death in 1954 among papers given to his friend Robin Gandy. It remained among Gandy’s personal possessions until his death.

Andrew Hodge, who wrote the biography that inspired the recent Hollywood blockbuster, said Turing was “parsimonious with his words and everything from his pen has special value.” Hodges added that the notebook shows how “even when he was enmeshed in great world events, he remained committed to free-thinking work in pure mathematics.”

The Imitation Game has been nominated for eight Academy Awards at next month’s Oscars ceremony. It is an incredibly raw and poignant tale of Alan Turing’s life and works, detailing his testing journey to cracking the Nazi’s ‘unbreakable’ Engima code and his harrowing descent to suicide. Benedict Cumberbatch paints an evocative picture of the brilliant mastermind and his social awkwardness and homosexual tendencies.

The film sheds light on the harsh attitudes towards homosexuality and reminds us of a time in very recent history that was plagued by intolerance and narrow-mindedness. The film coincides with the 60th anniversary of Turing’s death and comes soon after Queen Elizabeth II officially pardoned the code breaker in 2013.

It is believed that Turing’s key role in deciphering the German codes helped accelerate the fall of Adolf Hitler. If you don’t have a spare million lying around to purchase the phenomenal artefact that includes this genius’ unseen handwritten notes, watching the moving film The Imitation Game is your next best option.


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