Samuel Beckett manuscript 'to auction for £1 million'

A manuscript of Samuel Beckett's novel Murphy is expected to sell for more than £1million at auction.

The manuscript of Samuel Beckett's novel Murphy will be auctioned later today. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The six notebooks, complete with the author's notes and doodles, cover more than 700 pages including passages that were cut from the iconic text when it was eventually published in 1938.

Peter Selley, Sotheby's senior specialist in books and manuscripts, said the work was "unquestionably most important manuscript of a complete novel" to appear at auction for decades.

''The notebooks contain almost infinite riches for all those - whether scholars or collectors - interested in this most profound of modern writers, who more than anyone else, perhaps, captures the essence of modern man.''

The novel revolves around the title character's attempts to find peace in the nothingness of the ''little world'' of the mind without intrusion from the outside world. The Irish writer, who lived in Paris for most of his life, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969.