The continued story of lost Bond novel, "Per Fine Ounce", as told through the correspondence of its author Geoffrey Jenkins...

The Geoffrey Jenkins Letters (2)

7th September 2010

Continuing from Part I...

On May 13th 1966, the day following Anne Fleming's approval was granted, Jenkins wrote once more to Gorrie, reiterating the details of the contract and requesting that the tax agent "formulate your scheme as soon as possible now confirmation has come through". Despite receiving the go-ahead, it would be late August before the contract was signed.

Several letters were then exchanged between Jenkins and his lawyer, in which the two of them discuss objections or concerns with the contract that is being assembled by Glidrose and Jenkins' representatives at Harbottle & Lewis. Jenkins drafted once such letter on June 7th.

From: Geoffrey Jenkins
To: Ronald Aiken
Dated: 7th June 1966

The final letter relevant to the mysteries behind "Per Fine Ounce" was from Aiken to Jenkins on August 25th 1966. Beyond the last letter (below), in which Geoffrey's lawyer forwards the completed to contract between Jenkins and Glidrose for his client's signature, references to "Per Fine Ounce" are scant. Additionally, readers will note that in this letter, Aikens reminds Jenkins that his request for merchandising royalties from the "Per Fine Ounce" material (would it ever be turned into a film) had previously, and once again, been denied by Glidrose.

From: Ronald Aiken
To: Geoffrey Jenkins
Dated: 25th August 1966

In the final paragraph of the above letter the author is reassured that his lawyer is working to secure ownership of all characters he creates for "Per Fine Ounce", such that they cannot be re-used by Glidrose in future publications.

Just like the manuscript itself, evidence for how the deal between Glidrose and Jenkins fell apart and many other such details about the unpublished work remain missing. Jenkins' manuscript was reportedly presented to the Glidrose board and rejected.

We can only assume that Geoffrey Jenkins was compensated for his work in the form of the $5,000 deposit, on agreement to the contract. The author also retained the rights to the material, which some speculate wound up in "A Cleft Of Stars", Jenkins' 1973 novel.

Fans will know that the idea for a series of continuation novels is alive and well today - a concept that owes a lot to the work of Geoffrey Jenkins. The first published continuation novel came in the form of 1968's "Colonel Sun". The not-so-illusive Robert Markham, a pseudonym for acclaimed author Kingsley Amis, was credited on the cover. Ironically, Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli was rumoured to have remarked that he thought "Colonel Sun" was the worst Bond novel and it would not appear on screen whilst he was in charge of EON Productions. Tied up in this fiasco was Saltzman's refusal to film any future continuation novel, either, after Glidrose rejected his friend's "Per Fine Ounce".

Mr. Geoffrey Jenkins passed away on 7th November 2001, aged 91. He left behind a legacy in the form of over 16 fantastic thrillers and stood out amongst the crowd, even though much of his work with Britain's most famous secret agent remains undocumented.

"The Players"

Geoffrey Jenkins (1920-2001) - South African thriller writer, initially commissioned to write the first James Bond continuation novel after the death of Ian Fleming
Ronald Aiken - Lawyer with Harbottle & Lewis, the firm who represented Jenkins and Bond producer Harry Saltzman.
Stanley Gorrie - Tax agent for Jenkins.
Charles Tyrrell - Employee of Glidrose (now Ian Fleming) Publications, responsible for negotiating a deal between Glidrose and Jenkins
Anne Fleming (nee Charteris) - Ian Fleming's widow, objected to Fleming's work being continued by another author.
Peter Fleming - Brother to Ian Fleming and director of Glidrose during the events.
William "Billy" Collins - Publisher and owner of William Collins & Sons.

Mr. Geoffrey Jenkins' letters exclusively reproduced courtesy of Ronald Payne, agent for the Geoffrey Jenkins Estate. Not to be reproduced or transcribed.

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