A handwritten manuscript by mathematician Alan Turing, subject of the Oscar-nominated movie, “The Imitation Game,” is going up for auction.
Turing apparently wrote the 56-page manuscript in 1942 when he was trying to create one of the world’s first computers in order to break the German military’s code, known as Enigma. Those efforts, which were successful and were credited with being a key to the Allied victory in World War II, are the focus of much of the movie. It received eight Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Turing.
The manuscript is expected to sell for at least $1 million, according to Bonhams, the auction house that’s handling the sale on April 13 in New York. The book was left to a close friend of Turing, fellow mathematician Robin Gandy. Gandy also wrote his own notes in the blank spaces of the manuscript.
Gandy died in 1995, and the current owner of the manuscript was not disclosed by the auction house. Some of the proceeds are to be donated to charity.
There was a time that computers were known as Turing machines. But Turing’s life story became tragic when he faced criminal charges in England for being a homosexual, which was illegal at the time. He was given the choice between chemical castration to “cure” his homosexuality or imprisonment. He chose the former so that he could continue his work creating early computers.
He committed suicide in 1954, although there are conspiracy theories that he was murdered. He received a posthumous apology from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his “appalling” treatment in 2009 and a royal pardon five years later.