MI6 has exclusive access to the
newly republished James Bond novels, featuring an
and historical look back at how Ian Fleming created
Unwrapping The New Fleming Hardbacks (2)
30th May 2008
On 28th May 2008, new editions of all of Ian
Fleming’s classic James Bond books are published by Penguin
to mark the centenary of his birth and to coincide with publication
of the brand new Bond book Devil
May Care by Sebastian Faulks.
The fourteen original books will be published in hardback priced
at £14.99 with eye
catching new covers created by the designers
Michael Gillette and Jon Gray.
This incredibly desirable
series of books is just part of an exciting programme of
events and publications celebrating the life of the creator
the world’s most famous spy. Since the publication
of Casino Royale in 1953, over 100 million Bond books have
The New Fleming Hardbacks (1)
For Your Eyes Only
It was after the publication of For
Your Eyes Only that Ian Fleming felt compelled to secure the artist
Dickie Chopping to continue for his further Bond books.
Chopping had painted the covers for From Russia With Love
and Goldfinger and Fleming very much liked his developing
trompe l’oeil style. The artist, however, was no
longer satisified with his fee and for Bond’s next
outing – Thunderball – Fleming had to stump
up 200 guineas for the painting.
Thunderball emerged from the intention to have
Ian Fleming bring James Bond to the big screen and the
book was written from a loose outline he’d developed
for a film. It was in discussions about making the film
that Fleming put forward the idea of SPECTRE, the criminal
organization that would come to be at the centre of many
of Bonds later adventures.
The Spy Who Loved
Who Loved Me shows a mature Ian Fleming wrestling with his creation.
Having claimed that James Bond was a ‘blunt instrument’, Fleming
had become worried that some younger readers might come to idolize him as a mythical
hero, and here he wished to show Bond from another angle entirely. That Fleming
was unsuccessful in any of the Bond books in resolving this issue to any satisfaction
suggests that it is this very enigma which may lie at the heart of the secret
agent’s appeal. The Spy Who Loved Me includes a reference to a character
called Donaldson, named after friends of Ian Fleming’s
wife Ann, who were staying at Goldeneye while he was writing
the novel, and Robert Harling – a friend of Fleming’s
and member of 30 AU (the commando unit he directed during
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service provides Ian Fleming’s
most interesting portrait of M; and one which most closely
resembles his former superior Admiral Godfrey. Fleming used
the visit he and his wife Ann made to Engadine near St
Moritz to help create his cast of characters in
the restaurant above a ski run. Robin Mirlees was hired
to provide Fleming with information on heraldry and genealogy,
discovering the family histories of Bond and Blofeld. (The
coat of arms of Peckam Bond family has the motto ‘The
world is not enough’.
You Only Live Twice
Ian Fleming went on a two week research trip to Japan in November 1962 (a trip
which had been delayed slightly due to his attendance at the official film
premiere of Dr No in October). He was accompanied by his Australian friend
Richard Hughes, who had also acted as his guide on his Thrilling Cities trip
to Tokyo three years earlier, and Tiger Saito, a journalist friend. References
to the names of both men find their way into You
Only Live Twice – Hughes
as Dikko Henderson, the head of the Australian Secret Service, and Saito as
Tiger Tanaka, head of the Japanese Secret Service.
The Man With The
As had occurred in previous Bond novels, Ian Fleming drew on his private life
to provide the names for his characters and in The
Man with the Golden Gun it
was to his school days in Eton that he turned for his villain, Scaramanga.
died before the book’s publication and his publishers passed the book to
Kingsley Amis to read and comment on. (Amis would write his own Bond novel a
few years later.)
and The Living Daylights was published posthumously,
but the stories were completed some time before Ian Fleming’s
death and each reveals the writer’s diligent research
and obsession with taking names from his private life.
Octopussy, for example, was the name of a boat he had been
given for his Jamaican residence of Golden Eye. The Living
Daylights – originally ‘Trigger Finger’ – saw
him in contact with the National Rifle Association for
details on marksmanship.
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