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Price of a Princess [autograph manuscript]

Price of a Princess [autograph manuscript] by TRANTER, Nigel (1994)

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Author: TRANTER, Nigel
Title: Price of a Princess [autograph manuscript]
Year: 1994
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £750
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Added under Manuscripts  

Autograph manuscript & typescript of this historical novel about Mary Stewart, sister of James III of Scotland, written by Nigel Tranter on index cards as he took his morning walk. The author has used twenty nine stapled, homemade pamphlets each containing five or six index cards, writing in blue or black ink, recto and verso on each card in a miniscule hand. The text is interspersed with occasional memoranda and even a sketch of 'Ballinshoe Castle', no doubt on one of his morning routes. In his obituary in the Guardian newspaper his method of composition was described thus: 'Each morning he would leave his house in East Lothian and begin a long walk... In stout boots, flat cap and sensible tweeds, he looked just like any other bird-watcher but for one oddity: in his hands he carried small sheets of paper, protected by a polythene bag in inclement weather. By the time he returned home some 12 miles later, he would have completed another 1,000 words of his next book. Then, with few corrections, the work would be typed up on a venerable Imperial typewriter.' Tranter's typescript of the novel is also present with his homemade cover sheet, hole-punched, and tied with a bootlace. It takes a leap of imagination to realise that this is the work of a million-selling author. In the official blurb this novel is described as 'A riveting tale of romance, treachery and heartbreak, set in 15th century Scotland: the story of Mary Stewart, eldest sister of James III of Scotland and her part in making Orkney and Shetland part of Scotland' - characteristically the author prefaces his typescript with his own 'Possible blurb for Price of a Princess'.
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