Truman Capote’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ manuscript up for auction

A manuscript of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with annotations by author Truman Capote.
(R.R. Auction)

A manuscript of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is being auctioned online by R.R. Auctions this week. The manuscript includes Capote’s handwritten edits, including one of the most significant: He changes the main character’s name to Holly Golightly.

Indeed, who would find Connie Gustafson appealing? Holly Golightly is far more attractive.

R.R. Auctions describes the manuscript as the “final working draft manuscript for its 1958 Random House publication, 8.5 x 11, consisting of its entire 84 pages, mainly on high-quality goldenrod yellow paper, and copiously annotated throughout by author Truman Capote.”

The story was originally slated to be published in Harper’s Bazaar magazine, but it was pulled. Some say that was because of the story’s sexual content and that its crude language; others say editors didn’t want to offend Tiffany’s, an advertiser.


Back in 1958, they hadn’t heard of product placement.

Instead, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was published in Esquire in November 1958, concurrently with the release of the hardcover novella. The film, with an indelible star turn by Audrey Hepburn, came three years later in 1961.

The manuscript’s auction began April 18 and concludes April 25. Although the manuscript’s provenance is not explicated in the auction description, the sale includes a Random House envelope addressed to “Mr. Truman Capote, 70 Willow Street, Brooklyn 1, New York.” Bidding for the manuscript began at $10,000 and has topped $50,000.

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