Tuesday, April 5, 2022

From Ian Fleming, With Love: Uncovering Some Of James Bond’s Most Enigmatic Characters: Christie's Notes That Inscribed First Editions Offer Rare Glimpse Into Fleming’s Influences As He Built World Of James Bond007

Christie’s is auctioning several of Ian Fleming’s inscribed first editions of his James Bond novels. The world-famous auctioneer offers a post on Fleming, his novels, and his iconic fictional character James Bond:   

When Ian Fleming sat down to write his first spy serial, he wanted to give his protagonist what he described as ‘the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name’ he could find. He was at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica, a secluded and sprawling compound where, when not writing, his preferred leisure was birdwatching — a term that in British intelligence slang also means ‘spying’.

One afternoon, with the breeze gently blowing through the 
jalousie windows, Fleming’s eyes wandered about the room in search of inspiration. Landing on a reference book, Birds of the West Indies, he happened to notice that the author was none other than the ornithologist James Bond.

‘It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed,’ he said. James Bond kept the thoughts of his character concealed, allowing this cool and calculating persona to be built through action. In one fortuitous moment, the birdwatcher was revealed as the first-rate spy.

Experts debate whether Bond’s character was wholly fictional, since Fleming’s inspiration often came from the people with whom he worked, or events that occurred during his military service. They are usually named with a subtle nod to their real-life counterparts, and on rare occasions he would present an inscribed edition of one of his books to them. On 11 April at Christie’s, 
Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana online sale will feature three of these highly prized volumes, as well as other rare selections from Fleming’s opus. 

You can read the rest of the post via the below link:

Ian Fleming’s first editions from the world of James Bond | Christie's (christies.com) 

You can also read my Crime Beat column on Ian Fleming via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Beat Column: The Ian Fleming and James Bond Phenomenon 

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