In the late 1950's, Jenkins had discussed the idea of
a James Bond novel set in South Africa with Fleming, and
even written a synopsis of it, which Fleming had very much
Fleming had said he would come to South
Africa to research the book, but he died before this happened.
was revealed in a letter to John Pearson in 1965 when
he was researching his biography on Ian Fleming, The Life
of Ian Fleming. Pearson was understandably excited by
revelation, and even more so when he found Jenkins' Bond
synopsis in Fleming's papers.
This coincided with Glidrose considering the idea of asking
other authors to continue writing James Bond novels, a
notion that Fleming's wife, Ann, was against, but his brother,
Peter Fleming, who at the time was Glidrose's director,
favoured. In November 1965, Jenkins met with his friend
Harry Saltzman, co-producer of the James Bond films at
the time, and Charles Tyrell from Glidrose to discuss the
possibility of his making his South African synopsis into
the first James Bond 'continuation' novel.
were protracted, but Jenkins was formally granted permission
to write the book on May 12, 1966; a contract was drawn
up on August 24, 1966, which stated that Jenkins would
be entitled to a percentage of profits in any film made
from the novel, but not from any related merchandise
that might come about.
Above: Cover artwork for 'A Cleft
of Stars' - thought to reuse some of the ideas from 'Per
UK - Paperback
USA - Paperback