This book was written by an ex-National Gallery attendant in the mid-1960s. It is semi-autobiographical and in the ‘art heist’ ‘caper’ genre.
The manuscript was typed in the mid-1960s probably sometime after the Kempton Bunton court case in November 1965.
Reference is made to the court case in the book and therefore places it’s writing at sometime after that date.
Who could have predicted that Kempton Bunton would have been convicted of stealing the frame but not the Duke’s portrait!
In 1985 the original manuscript was given to me and has been in my possession ever since.
The manuscript comprises 269 pages of typed foolscap, about 85,000 words, single sided, double spaced and with handwritten amendments. I believe it to be the final version.
The style of writing in the book is somewhat ‘theatrical’ and ‘flamboyant’. Is this the same style of language as used in the ransom notes?
Doubtless, a book about life at the National Gallery would be of limited public interest, unless it contained something much more interesting, like the theft and copying of a famous picture: the only one ever to be stolen from the National Gallery.
The central theme of the book is the replacement of the original portrait of the Duke of Wellington (in the book a fake) with a fake!
The book remains to be published.