[Apologies. Several of the links in this post simply don't work any more. I've tried to make sure the photos are there. Watch for an updated post -- and be sure to read the comments.]
Ian Fleming, the creator of secret agent James Bond, at his typewriter, the gold-plated one:
Gold-plated? According to IanFlemingCentre.com:
Ian Fleming’s first biographer, John Pearson, has identified 15 January 1952 as the “birth date” of James Bond and reports that CASINO ROYALE was finished on 18 March. Andrew Lycett’s IAN FLEMING points out that Ian “may have completed the job in an even shorter time”.
Ian Fleming married Ann Rothermere on Monday 24 March in that same year and often joked that he wrote CASINO ROYALE to take his mind off the forthcoming wedding. Whatever the timing, he had left his time working in naval intelligence with the determination to write “the spy story to end all spy stories”. He was forty three, about to marry and have his first child; his ambition and his experience came together at this moment in the creation of James Bond. He rewarded himself by buying a custom-made typewriter – plated in gold.
There you have it.
Is this a close-up of that typewriter? From AtomicMartinis.com:
I first saw a James Bond movie in 1964, “Goldfinger.” I spent the rest of the summer reading all the James Bond books then in paperback. Bond adventures reflected the attitudes, tone and tension of the Cold War. They also provided great escape for a teenager with a summer of little else to do in central Utah.
The books proved much better than the movies. While I’ve seen most of the movies as they’ve come along, I encourage people to read the books. The stories are different from the movies, especially the movies coming after “Goldfinger.” The gadgets are less spectacular, but the characters and travelogues are more spectacular.
Mostly the stuff is just fun. Bond was sort of a Harry Potter for slightly older kids, and still can be.
I have not read any of the post-Fleming Bond novels. Does anyone recommend them?
- A site devoted to Ian Fleming’s life and writing
- Ian Fleming Centenary site (May 28, 2008, was the 100th anniversary of Fleming’s birth)
- Imperial War Museum exhibition - “ To celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth, Imperial War Museum London will launch the first major exhibition devoted to the life and work of the man who created the world’s most famous secret agent, James Bond” – through March 1, 2009
- List of James Bond films, from the Barbican