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1.British writer famous for writing spy novels about secret agent James Bond (1908-1964)
man of letters; essayist; litterateur; writer; author[ClasseHyper.]
Ian Fleming (n.)
|Born||Ian Lancaster Fleming
28 May 1908
Mayfair, London, England
|Died||12 August 1964
Canterbury, Kent, England
|Resting place||Sevenhampton, Wiltshire|
|Occupation||Author and journalist|
|Genres||Spy fiction, children's literature, travel writing|
|Spouse(s)||Ann Geraldine Charteris
(1952–1964, his death)
|Relative(s)||Valentine Fleming, MP (father, deceased)
Evelyn St. Croix Fleming (mother, deceased)
Amaryllis Fleming (half-sister, deceased)
Peter Fleming (brother, deceased)
Lucy Fleming (niece)
Ian Lancaster Fleming (28 May 1908 – 12 August 1964) was an English author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer. Fleming is best known for creating the fictional spy James Bond and the series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character. Fleming was from a wealthy family, connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. and his father was MP for Henley from 1910 until his death on the Western Front in 1917. Educated at Eton, the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and the universities of Munich and Geneva, Fleming moved through a number of jobs before he started writing.
The Bond books are among the biggest-selling series of fictional books of all time, having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming also wrote the children's story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two works of non-fiction. While working in British Naval Intelligence during the Second World War, Fleming was involved in the planning stages of Operation Mincemeat and Operation Golden Eye, the former of which was successfully carried out. Fleming was also involved in the planning and overseeing of two active service units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force.
His experiences of the people he met during his wartime service provided much of the background and detail of the Bond novels and his career as a journalist added colour and depth to the stories. In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming fourteenth on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Fleming was married to Ann Charteris, who had been divorced from the second Viscount Rothermere because of her relationship with Fleming; the couple had one son—Caspar—although they also both had affairs during their marriage. Fleming was a heavy smoker and heavy drinker and suffered from heart disease; he died in the early morning of 12 August 1964 from a heart attack. Two Bond books written by Fleming were published after his death and a further five continuation authors have also produced novels. Fleming's creation has also appeared in film twenty-four times with seven actors playing the role of Bond.
Ian Fleming was born on 28 May 1908 at 27 Green Street, in Mayfair, a wealthy district of London. His mother was Evelyn St. Croix Rose and his father was Valentine Fleming, the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910. Fleming was the grandson of the Scottish financier Robert Fleming, who founded the Scottish American Investment Trust and the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. (since 2000, part of JP Morgan Chase). In 1914, with the start of World War I, Valentine joined "C" Squadron, Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars and rose to the rank of major. He was killed by German shelling on the Western Front on 20 May 1917, following which Winston Churchill wrote an obituary that appeared in The Times. Because the family owned an estate at Arnisdale, Valentine's death was commemorated on the Glenelg War Memorial.
Fleming's elder brother Peter (1907–1971) became a travel writer and married actress Celia Johnson. Peter served with the Grenadier Guards during World War II, later becoming commissioned under Colin Gubbins to help establish the Auxiliary Units. He also became involved in behind the lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war. Fleming also had two younger brothers, Michael (1913–1940) and Richard Fleming (1911–1977) and an illegitimate younger maternal half-sister, cellist Amaryllis Fleming (1925–1999) whose father was artist Augustus John. Amaryllis was the result of a long-term affair between John and Evelyn Fleming, which started in 1923, some six years after the death of Valentine Fleming.
In 1914 Fleming was sent to Durnford School, a preparatory school on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. The school was near to the estate of a family called Bond, who could trace their ancestry back to an Elizabethan spy called John Bond and whose motto was Non Sufficit Orbis—The World Is Not Enough. Fleming did not enjoy his time at Durnford; his life included unpalatable food, physical hardship and bullying. It was during his stay at Durnford that Fleming received the news of his father's death.
From 1921 Fleming followed his brother Peter to Eton College. Although not one of the academic stars of the school, he excelled at athletics and was Victor Ludorum for two years, in 1925 and 1926, only the second person to accomplish this. Fleming also became involved in editing a magazine, The Wyvern. Fleming's lifestyle at Eton brought him into conflict with his housemaster, E. V. Slater, who disapproved of Fleming's attitude, his hair oil, his ownership of a car and the fact he had a mistress. Slater persuaded Fleming's mother to remove Fleming from Eton a term early for a crammer course to gain entry to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. Fleming spent less than a year at Sandhurst, leaving in 1927 without gaining a commission, after he contracted gonorrhea.
In order to straighten Fleming out—and to prepare him for entry into the Foreign Office—his mother sent him to a small private school, the Tennerhof, in the town of Kitzbühel, Austria, run by the Adlerian disciple Ernan Forbes Dennis, a former British spy, and his American wife, the novelist Phyllis Bottome. His language skills developed well and from the Tennerhof he studied briefly at Munich University and the University of Geneva. While in Geneva Fleming became engaged to a French-Swiss woman Monique Panchaud de Bottomes in 1931. Fleming's mother disapproved and made him break off the relationship. He applied for entry to the Foreign Office, but failed the examinations. His mother again intervened in his affairs, lobbying Sir Roderick Jones, head of Reuters News Agency. In October 1931 he was eventually given a position as a sub-editor and journalist for the Reuters news service. In 1933 Fleming spent time in Moscow covering the Stalinist show trial of six engineers from the British company Metropolitan-Vickers. While there he applied for an interview with Soviet premier Joseph Stalin and was amazed to receive a personally signed note apologising for not being able to attend.
Fleming bowed to family pressure in October 1933 and moved into the banking world with a position at financiers Cull & Co. He was not a good banker and, in October 1935, became a stockbroker with Rowe and Pitman, headquartered on Bishopsgate, London, a position in which he also struggled to become a success.
In May 1939 Fleming was recruited by Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence of the Royal Navy to become Godfrey's personal assistant. Fleming joined the organisation full time in August 1939, with the codename "17F", working out of Room 39 at The Admiralty. His biographer, Andrew Lycett, notes that Fleming had "no obvious qualifications" for the appointment. As part of his appointment, Fleming was commissioned into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in July 1939, initially as lieutenant, but promoted to commander by September 1939.
Fleming proved to be an excellent PA for Godfrey, with a talent for administration. As Godfrey was a prickly character who made a number of enemies within government circles, he used Fleming as a liaison with other sections of the government wartime administration, such as the Secret Intelligence Service, the Political Warfare Executive, the Special Operations Executive, the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Prime Minister's staff.
On 29 September 1939—only 29 days after the start of World War II—Godfrey published a memorandum largely written by Fleming: the trout memo, a document comparing deception of an enemy in wartime with fly fishing. The memo contained a number of schemes to be considered for use against the Axis powers, in order to lure U-boats and German surface ships towards minefields. Number 28 on the list was an idea to use a corpse, carrying misleading papers, which the enemy could find: this suggestion formed the basis of Operation Mincemeat, the successful 1943 deception plan to cover the intended invasion of Italy from North Africa. The heading for the recommendation was: "A Suggestion (not a very nice one)", which went on "The following suggestion is used in a book by Basil Thomson: a corpse dressed as an airman, with despatches in his pockets, could be dropped on the coast, supposedly from a parachute that has failed. I understand there is no difficulty in obtaining corpses at the Naval Hospital, but, of course, it would have to be a fresh one."
In 1940, Fleming and Godfrey contacted Kenneth Mason, Professor of Geography at Oxford University, about the preparation of reports on the geography of countries involved in military operations. These reports were the precursors of the Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series produced between 1941 and 1946.
On 12 September 1940 Fleming wrote a memo to Godfrey that instigated a plan named Operation Ruthless, aimed at obtaining details of the Enigma codes used by the German Navy. The memo suggested "obtaining" a German bomber, putting in a German-speaking crew, all dressed in Luftwaffe uniforms, and crashing the plane into the English channel. When the Germans would come to rescue the crew, they would be attacked and the boat, including its Enigma machine, would be brought back to England. Much to the annoyance of Alan Turing and Peter Twinn at Bletchley Park, the mission was never carried out. Fleming's niece, Lucy, stated that the reason given was that an official at the Royal Air Force pointed out that if they were to drop a downed Heinkel bomber in the English Channel, it would probably sink rather quickly.
Fleming also worked with Colonel "Wild Bill" Donovan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's special representative on intelligence co-operation between London and Washington. In May 1941 Fleming accompanied Godfrey to the United States and assisted in writing a blueprint for the Office of the Coordinator of Information, the department which turned into the Office of Strategic Services and eventually became the CIA.
In 1941-42 Admiral Godfrey put Fleming in charge of Operation Golden Eye, a plan to maintain an intelligence framework in Spain in the event of a German takeover of the territory. The plan, drawn up by Fleming, involved maintaining communication with Gibraltar and launching sabotage operations against the Nazis. In 1941 Fleming also liaised with Donovan over American involvement in one of the measures to ensure the Germans did not dominate the seaways.
In 1942 Fleming formed a unit of commandos, known as No. 30 Commando, or 30 Assault Unit (30AU), a group of specialist intelligence troops. 30 AU's job was to be near the front line of an advance—sometimes in front of it— to seize enemy documents from HQs previously targeted. The unit was based on a similar German group headed by Otto Skorzeny, who had undertaken similar activities in the Battle of Crete in May 1941. Fleming thought the German unit was "one of the most outstanding innovations in German intelligence".
Fleming did not fight in the field with the unit, but selected targets and directed operations from the rear. On formation the unit was only thirty strong, but grew to five times that size. The unit was filled with men from other commando units and trained in unarmed combat, safe-cracking and lock-picking at the Special Operations Executive (SOE) facilities. In late 1942 Captain (later Rear-Admiral) Edmund Rushbrooke replaced Godfrey as head of the Naval Intelligence Division and Fleming's influence in the organisation declined, although he still retained control over 30AU. Fleming called the unit his "Red Indians", although this annoyed some of the unit's members who had little time for Fleming.
Prior to the Normandy landings, most of 30AU's operations were in the Mediterranean. Because of their successes in Sicily and Italy, 30AU became greatly trusted by naval intelligence. In March 1944, Fleming oversaw the distribution of intelligence through to Royal Navy units in preparation for Operation Overlord and he subsequently followed the unit into Germany after they located the German naval archives from 1870, archived in Tambach Castle. Fleming visited 30AU in the field during and after Operation Overlord, especially following an attack on Cherbourg. He was concerned that the unit had been incorrectly used as a regular commando force, rather than as an intelligence-gathering unit. This wasted the men's specialist skills, risked their safety on operations that did not justify the use of such skilled operatives and threatened the vital gathering of intelligence. Following this, the management of these units was revised. Fleming was replaced as head of 30AU on 6 June 1944, as he was posted on an intelligence fact-finding trip to the Far East on behalf of the Director of Naval Intelligence. Much of the trip was spent identifying opportunities for 30AU in the Pacific, although the unit eventually saw little action because of the Japanese surrender.
In August 1944, following the success of 30AU, it was decided to establish a "Target Force", which became known as T-Force. The official memorandum, held at The National Archives in London described their primary role as: "T-Force = Target Force, to guard and secure documents, persons, equipment, with combat and Intelligence personnel, after capture of large towns, ports etc. in liberated and enemy territory."
Fleming sat on the committee that selected the targets for this unit, helping to create what were known as the "Black Books" which were issued to the officers of this unit. The infantry component of T-Force was in part made up of the 5th Battalion, King's Regiment, which supported the Second Army. It was responsible for securing targets of interest to the British military. These included nuclear laboratories, gas research centres and individual rocket scientists. The unit's most notable coup was during the advance on the German port of Kiel, where it captured the research centre for German engines used for the V-2 rocket, Messerschmitt Me 163 fighters and high speed U-boats. Fleming was to use elements of the activities of T-Force, particularly in his 1955 Bond novel Moonraker.
Fleming was a bibliophile who, from 1929 onwards and with the assistance of bookseller Percy Muir, collected a library of over one thousand copies of what Fleming described as "books that made things happen." These books represented "milestones in modern science, technology and Western civilization." He concentrated on science and technology, had a copy of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species but also owned other significant works ranging from Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf to Scouting for Boys. He was a major lender to the 1963 exhibition Printing and the Mind of Man. Fleming served on the board of The Book Collector journal, and owned the small publishing firm Queen Anne Press. In 1970 the collection was acquired by the Lilly Library at Indiana University for $150,000 ($897,686 in 2012 dollars).
In 1942 Fleming attended an Anglo-American intelligence summit in Jamaica; despite the constant heavy rain during his visit Fleming decided to live on the island once the war was over. His friend Ivar Bryce helped find a plot of land in Saint Mary Parish and, in 1945, Fleming had a house built there, which he named Goldeneye. The name of the house and estate where he wrote his novels has many possible sources. Ian Fleming himself cited both his wartime Operation Golden Eye, but also the 1941 novel, Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers.
When Fleming was demobbed in May 1945, he joined the Kemsley newspaper group, which at the time owned The Sunday Times. Fleming became Foreign Manager, overseeing the work of the worldwide network of the paper's correspondents. His contract with Kemsley contained a clause that allowed him to take three months' holiday every winter in Jamaica. Fleming worked on The Sunday Times until the end of December 1959, although he continued to produce articles for the paper and attend the Tuesday weekly meetings until at least 1961.
Fleming married Ann Charteris on 24 March 1952 in Jamaica. The ceremony was witnessed by his friend and neighbour, the playwright Noël Coward. She and Fleming had been having an affair since some point in the 1930s, although at the time she was married to the third Baron O'Neill. He was killed in action on the Italian front in 1944 and she expected that she and Fleming would marry afterwards, but Fleming decided to remain a bachelor. Instead, on 28 June 1945, she married the second Viscount Rothermere.
Despite her marriage to Rothermere, she continued to see Fleming and would visit him in Jamaica, having told her husband that she was visiting Noël Coward. In 1948 she gave birth to a daughter by Fleming, Mary, although the child lived for only a few hours. In 1951 Rothermere divorced her because of her relationship with Fleming. Both Fleming and Ann had affairs during their marriage, she, most notably, with Hugh Gaitskell, the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition. Fleming had a long-term affair in Jamaica with one of his neighbours, Blanche Blackwell, mother of Chris Blackwell of Island Records.
Although during the war Fleming had mentioned to friends that he wanted to write a spy novel, it was not until 1952 that he began to write his first novel, Casino Royale. He started writing his book at his Jamaican home Goldeneye, on 17 February 1952, typing out 2,000 words in the morning, directly from his own experiences and imagination; he finished work on the script in just over two months. He afterwards claimed that he started to write to distract himself from his forthcoming nuptials to his pregnant girlfriend, Ann Charteris. Fleming described the work as his "dreadful oafish opus" and showed it to an ex-girlfriend, Clare Blanchard, who advised him not to publish it at all, but that if he did so, it should be under another name.
On 12 May 1952 Fleming lunched with his friend William Plomer and—after prompting from Plomer—admitted he had written a book. Plomer asked to see a copy and Fleming obliged, but was diffident about it, saying "so far as I can see the element of suspense is completely absent". Plomer thought the book had sufficient promise to forward a copy to a reader at Jonathan Cape. Although Cape were initially unenthusiastic about the novel, Fleming's brother Peter—whose books Cape had published—persuaded the company to publish the book. On 13 April 1953 Casino Royale was released in the UK in hardcover, priced at 10s, 6d, with a cover that had been devised by Fleming himself. Three print runs were needed in April and May to cope with sales, all of which sold out.
The novel centred on the exploits of James Bond, an intelligence officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond was also known by his code number, 007, and was a Royal Naval Reserve commander. Fleming took the name for his character from that of the American ornithologist James Bond, a Caribbean bird expert and author of the definitive field guide Birds of the West Indies; Fleming, a keen birdwatcher himself, had a copy of Bond's guide and he later explained to the ornithologist’s wife that "It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born". In a 1962 interview in The New Yorker, he further explained that: "When I wrote the first one in 1953, I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument...when I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought by God, (James Bond) is the dullest name I ever heard."
Fleming based his creation on a number of individuals he came across during his time in the Naval Intelligence Division during World War II, admitting that Bond "was a compound of all the secret agents and commando types I met during the war". Amongst those types were his brother, Peter, who Fleming worshipped, and who had been involved in behind the lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war.
Aside from Fleming's brother, a number of others also provided some aspects of Bond's make up, including Conrad O'Brien-ffrench, a spy whom Fleming had met whilst skiing in Kitzbühel in the 1930s, Patrick Dalzel-Job, who served with distinction in 30 AU during the war, and Bill "Biffy" Dunderdale, station head of MI6 in Paris, who wore cufflinks and handmade suits and was chauffeured around Paris in a Rolls-Royce. Sir Fitzroy MacLean was another possible model for Bond, based on his wartime work behind enemy lines in the Balkans, as was the MI6 double agent Dušan Popov. One of the biggest influence on the Bond character was Fleming himself, who endowed Bond with many of his own traits, including sharing the same golf handicap, the taste for scrambled eggs and using the same brand of toiletries. Bond's tastes are also often taken from Fleming’s own as was his behaviour, with Bond's love of golf and gambling mirroring Fleming's own.
After the publication of Casino Royale, Fleming used his annual holiday at his house in Jamaica to write another Bond story; in total, between 1953 and 1966, two years after his death, twelve Bond novels and two short-story collections were published, with the last two books—The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy and The Living Daylights—published posthumously.
Much of the background to the stories came from Fleming's previous work in the Naval Intelligence Division or to events he knew of from the Cold War. The plot of From Russia, with Love uses a fictional Soviet Spektor decoding machine as a lure to trap Bond; the Spektor had its roots in the German World War II Enigma machine. The novel also used the plot device of spies on the Orient Express: Fleming knew of the story of Eugene Karp, a US naval attaché and intelligence agent based in Budapest who, in February 1950, took the Orient Express from Budapest to Paris, carrying a number of papers about blown US spy networks in the Eastern Bloc. Soviet assassins were already on the train. The conductor was drugged and Karp's body was found shortly afterwards in a railway tunnel south of Salzburg.
Many of the names used in the Bond works are from people Fleming knew: the primary villain of The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga was named after a fellow schoolboy at Eton, with whom Fleming fought; Goldfinger, from the eponymous novel, was named after British architect Ernő Goldfinger, whose work Fleming abhorred; Sir Hugo Drax, the protagonist from Moonraker, was named after an acquaintance of Fleming's, Admiral Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax (his assistant, Krebs, bears the same name as Hitler's last Chief of Staff) while one of the homosexual villains from Diamonds Are Forever, 'Boofy' Kidd, was named after one of Fleming's close friends—and a relative of his wife—Arthur Gore, 8th Earl of Arran.
In 1957 Fleming published his first work of non-fiction, The Diamond Smugglers, partly based on background research for his fourth Bond novel, Diamonds Are Forever. Much of the material had been published in The Sunday Times and was based on Fleming's interviews with John Collard, a member of the International Diamond Security Organisation, who had previously worked in MI5. The book received mixed reviews in the UK and US markets.
For the first five books—Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, with Love—Fleming received broadly positive reviews from the critics. That began to change in March 1958 when Bernard Bergonzi, in Twentieth Century, attacked Fleming's work, saying that it contained "a strongly marked streak of voyeurism and sado-masochism" and that the books showed "the total lack of any ethical frame of reference". The article also compared Fleming unfavourably to John Buchan and Raymond Chandler in both moral and literary measures. A month later Dr. No was published and Fleming received harsh criticism from a number of reviewers who, in the words of author and historian Ben Macintyre, "rounded on Fleming, almost as a pack". The most strongly worded of the critiques came from Paul Johnson of the New Statesman who opened his review, "Sex, Snobbery and Sadism", with: "I have just finished what is, without doubt, the nastiest book I have ever read". Johnson went on to say that "by the time I was a third of the way through, I had to suppress a strong impulse to throw the thing away", Although Johnson recognised that in Bond there "was a social phenomenon of some importance", this was as a negative element, as the phenomenon concerned "three basic ingredients in Dr No, all unhealthy, all thoroughly English: the sadism of a schoolboy bully, the mechanical, two-dimensional sex-longings of a frustrated adolescent, and the crude, snob-cravings of a suburban adult." Johnson saw no positives in Dr. No, saying that "Mr Fleming has no literary skill, the construction of the book is chaotic, and entire incidents and situations are inserted, and then forgotten, in a haphazard manner."
Biographer Andrew Lycett noted that following the attacks on his work, allied with marital problems, Fleming "went into a personal and creative decline". Goldfinger had already been written before Dr. No's publication, so the next book Fleming produced after the criticism was a collection of short stories, For Your Eyes Only, which were adaptations of outlines written for a television series which did not come to fruition. Lycett noted that at the time Fleming was writing both the television scripts, and the short story collection, "Ian's mood of weariness and self-doubt was beginning to affect his writing" and this can be seen in Bond's internal monologue of thoughts.
Fleming followed up the book by novelizing a film script that he had worked on with others, the resulting novel being Thunderball. The work had started in 1958 when Fleming's friend, Ivar Bryce, introduced him to a young Irish writer and director, Kevin McClory, and the three of them, together with Fleming and Bryce's friend Ernest Cuneo worked on a script. In October McClory introduced experienced screenwriter Jack Whittingham to the writing process and by December 1959 McClory and Whittingham sent Fleming a script. Fleming had been having second thoughts on McClory's involvement and, in January 1960, Fleming explained his intention of delivering the screenplay to MCA, with a recommendation from him and Bryce that McClory act as producer. Additionally, Fleming told McClory that if MCA rejected the film because of McClory's involvement, then McClory should either sell himself to MCA, back out of the deal, or file suit in court.
Fleming then wrote the novel Thunderball at Goldeneye over the period January to March 1960, based on the screenplay written by himself, Whittingham and McClory. In March 1961 McClory read an advance copy of the book and he and Whittingham immediately petitioned the High Court in London for an injunction to stop publication. After two court actions—the second in November 1961—Fleming offered a deal to McClory, settling out of court. McClory gained the literary and film rights for the screenplay, while Fleming was given the rights to the novel, although it had to be recognised as being "based on a screen treatment by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and the Author".
Fleming's books had always sold well, but in 1961 sales increased dramatically. On 17 March 1961—four years after it had been published and three years after the heavy criticism of Dr. No—From Russia, with Love was listed as one of US President John F. Kennedy's ten favourite books, in an article in Life Magazine. Kennedy and Fleming had previously met in Washington; this accolade, and its associated publicity, led to a surge in sales that made Fleming the biggest-selling crime writer in the US. Fleming considered From Russia, with Love to be his best novel, although he admitted that, "the great thing is that each one of the books seems to have been a favourite with one or other section of the public and none has yet been completely damned."
In April 1961, between the two court cases surrounding Thunderball, and because of his concerns over the forthcoming, second case, Fleming suffered a heart attack during a regular weekly meeting at The Sunday Times. During his convalescence he began working on a children's novel, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, which was published in October 1964, two months after Fleming's death.
In June 1961, Fleming sold a six month option on the film rights to his already-published as well as future James Bond novels and short stories to Harry Saltzman. Saltzman was subsequently introduced to Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and the pair co-produced Dr. No, which was released in 1962 through their joint production vehicle, Eon Productions. After an extensive search Broccoli and Saltzman hired Sean Connery on a five film deal. Sean Connery's depiction of Bond in Dr. No affected the literary character; in You Only Live Twice, the first book written after Dr. No was released, Fleming gave Bond a sense of humour and Scottish antecedents that were not present in the previous stories.
In November 1963, Fleming published a second non-fiction book: Thrilling Cities. The book is a reprint of a series of articles first published in The Sunday Times based on Fleming's impressions of a number of world cities in trips Fleming had taken in 1959 and 1960. In 1964 Fleming was approached by producer Norman Felton to write a spy series for television. Fleming agreed and provided Felton with a number of ideas, including the names of characters, Napoleon Solo and April Dancer for the series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. After Eon Productions heard of the project they asked Fleming to withdraw to avoid any legal problems that may occur if the project overlapped with Bond; Fleming agreed and withdrew from The Man from U.N.C.L.E..
In January 1964 Fleming went to Goldeneye for what later turned out to be his last holiday, writing the first draft of The Man with the Golden Gun. He was dissatisfied with the result and wrote to the copy editor of all his novels, William Plomer, saying it needed a lot of re-writing. As time went on Fleming became increasingly unhappy with the book and thought about re-working it in the spring of 1965, but was persuaded against it by Plomer, who considered the novel viable for publication. Five months after returning from Jamaica, on the morning of 12 August 1964, Fleming died of a heart attack.
Fleming's last two books—The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy and The Living Daylights—were published posthumously. The Man with the Golden Gun was published eight months after Fleming's death and had not been through the full editing process by Fleming. As a result the novel was thought by publishers Jonathan Cape to be thin and "feeble". Cape had passed the manuscript to Kingsley Amis to read on holiday, although his subsequent suggestions were not used by the publishing house. Fleming's biographer Henry Chandler noted that the novel "received polite and rather sad reviews, recognizing that the book had effectively been left half-finished, and as such did not represent Fleming at the top of his game." The final Bond book—Octopussy and The Living Daylights—was published in Britain on 23 June 1966; it was a collection of two short stories.
Fleming was a heavy smoker and heavy drinker throughout his adult life and suffered from heart disease. In 1961 he suffered a heart attack; three years later, at the age of 56, Fleming was already an ill man, suffering from the disease. On 11 August 1964, whilst staying at a hotel in Canterbury, Fleming walked to the Royal St George's Golf Club for lunch and later dined at his hotel with friends. The day had been tiring for him and he collapsed with another heart attack shortly after the meal and died in the early morning of 12 August 1964—on his son Caspar's twelfth birthday. His last recorded words were an apology to the ambulance drivers for having inconvenienced them, saying "I am sorry to trouble you chaps. I don't know how you get along so fast with the traffic on the roads these days." Fleming was buried in the churchyard of Sevenhampton village, near Swindon.
After Fleming's death, his literary executors periodically hired other authors to continue the James Bond novels. These included Kingsley Amis (writing under the name "Robert Markham"), who published Colonel Sun in 1968, John Gardner, and Raymond Benson. In observance of what would have been Fleming's 100th birthday in 2008, Ian Fleming Publications commissioned Sebastian Faulks to write a new Bond novel entitled Devil May Care. The book, released in May 2008, was credited to "Sebastian Faulks, writing as Ian Fleming". Faulks was followed by American thriller author Jeffery Deaver, whose novel, Carte Blanche, was published in May 2011. On 11 April 2012, the Fleming estate announced that William Boyd will write the next Bond novel, due for release in the autumn of 2013.
During his lifetime Fleming sold thirty million books; double that number were sold in the two years following his death. In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming fourteenth on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". In 2002 Ian Fleming Publications announced the launch of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award, presented by the Crime Writers' Association to the best thriller, adventure or spy novel originally published in the UK.
The Eon Productions series of Bond films, started in 1962 with Dr. No, continued after Fleming's death. As well as two non-Eon produced films, there have been twenty-two Eon films, with the twenty-third, Skyfall, announced in November 2011. The Eon Productions series has grossed $4,910,000,000 (over $12,360,000,000 when adjusted for inflation) worldwide, making it the second highest grossing film series, behind Harry Potter.
The influence of Bond in the cinema and in literature has been shown in films and books as diverse as the Austin Powers series, Carry on Spying and the Jason Bourne character. In 2011, Fleming became the first English-language writer to have an international airport named after him. Ian Fleming International Airport, near Oracabessa, Jamaica was officially opened on 12 January 2011 by Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Fleming's niece, Lucy.
In October 1975, Fleming's son, Caspar (1952–1975), committed suicide with a drug overdose and was buried with his father. Fleming's widow, Ann, died in 1981 and was buried with her husband and son.
|1953||Casino Royale||The first US paperback edition of Casino Royale was re-titled You Asked For It and Bond’s name was changed to "Jimmy Bond".|
|1954||Live and Let Die|
|1955||Moonraker||First US paperback edition of Moonraker was re-titled Too Hot to Handle.|
|1956||Diamonds Are Forever|
|1957||From Russia, with Love|
|1960||For Your Eyes Only (short stories)||Consisting of: "From a View to a Kill"; "For Your Eyes Only";"Risico"; "Quantum of Solace" and "The Hildebrand Rarity"|
|1961||Thunderball||Subject of a legal battle which led to the book's storyline also being credited to Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham; see the controversy over Thunderball|
|1962||The Spy Who Loved Me||Fleming refused to allow a paperback edition to be published in the UK, but one was eventually published after his death.|
|1963||On Her Majesty's Secret Service|
|1964||You Only Live Twice|
|1965||The Man with the Golden Gun||See the controversy over authorship|
|1966||Octopussy and The Living Daylights (short stories)||Originally published with two stories, "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights": modern editions now also contain "The Property of a Lady" and "007 in New York".|
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