A full slate of publications and events have been lined up to celebrate the Ian Fleming Centenary next year...

Ian Fleming Centenary Plans
22nd December 2007

2008 is the centenary year of Ian Fleming, creator of one of the world’s most legendary literary characters, James Bond. As well as being an author, during his youth he was an accomplished athlete and later a journalist. He worked in Naval Intelligence during the war, and was a travel writer and a spy. 2008 promises a year-long programme of events celebrating the many aspects of his extraordinary life.

Central to the centenary celebrations is Devil May Care, the new James Bond book by the British writer Sebastian Faulks, one of the most eagerly anticipated publishing events of 2008.

Although the plot remains a closely guarded secret until publication by Penguin on Fleming’s birthday – 28 May – the writer has revealed that Devil May Care is set in the Cold War. Action is played across two continents, exotic locations and several of the world’s most thrilling cities. And there will be beautiful women, naturally.

Penguin will also be publishing new hardback editions of all 14 of the original Bond novels under a special 007 imprint.

The centenary will also be marked by a special centenary edition of the children’s classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Originally written by Fleming for his son, Caspar, it will be published by Puffin in May, with original illustrations by John Burningham. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was made in to a film in 1968 starring Dick Van Dyke and became a stage musical and West End box office smash in 2002, and is currently on tour in the UK.

Above: Cover art for Devil May Care

The publication of Hurricane Gold in paperback, the latest in Charlie Higson’s Young Bond series, is also planned to coincide with Fleming’s birthday. The hugely popular series, published by Puffin, has now sold over half a million copies and has been translated into 23 languages. The fifth book in the Young Bond series will be published in September alongside a graphic novel of the first book, SilverFin, illustrated by Kev Walker.

The Moneypenny Diaries – Final Fling by Kate Westbrook is published by John Murray in hardback in May. This is the third book in the series, following the affairs and adventures of James Bond’s right-hand woman.

Above: Ian Fleming, born on May 28th 1908

The centenary year, however, will kick off with a Royal Mail issue of six stamps featuring different editions of six of Ian Fleming’s most famous novels on January 8. The two 1st Class stamps feature Fleming’s first novel Casino Royale and Dr No, the first novel of the Bond series to be filmed. The four other books featured are the covers of Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, For Your Eyes Only, and From Russia with Love.

For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond, which opens at The Imperial War Museum in April 2008, is the first major exhibition devoted to the life and work of Ian Fleming. Featuring fascinating material, much on public display for the first time, For Your Eyes Only will look at the author and his fictional character in its historical context and examine how much of the Bond novels were imaginary and to what extent they were based on real people and events.

This exhibition will explore the early life of Ian Fleming, his wartime career and work as a journalist and travel writer. It will examine how, as an author, he drew upon his own experiences to create the iconic character of James Bond that continues to have global appeal. An accompanying book by Ben Macintyre will be published by Bloomsbury in April 2008.

Also in April, Bond Bound: Ian Fleming and the Art of Cover Design opens at the Fleming Collection on Berkeley Street in Mayfair. The exhibition will cover all Ian Fleming’s books including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Thrilling Cities – his collected travel journalism.

However, much of the exhibition will chart the role of artists and designers in creating and defining the Bond look. After London, the exhibition travels to Edinburgh for the Festival, before touring internationally.

Throughout the year there will be a number of events, including a Goldfinger Golf Tournament, to raise money for the official centenary charity, the British Heart Foundation.

A special one-off radio play adaptation of Dr No will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in April.


To find out more about all centenary projects, visit the centenary website.

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