Ian Fleming's rules for life are revealed as James Bond creator's private notebook goes up for auction
A notebook containing rules for 'how to live' that was written by James Bond creator Ian Fleming has emerged 60 years on.
Fleming filled his pocket notepad with ideas and observations while drafting his 11th Bond novel, You Only Live Twice, which was published in 1964.
Among his list of 13 rules was a warning to 'beware of motorcars with two women in the front seat'.
He took aim at the opposite sex in another instruction, warning: 'Don't waste your time on women who wear a bracelet on their left ankle.'
And one piece of advice that would not be out of place in a Bond novel reads: 'Don't draw your gun unless you see both the other man's hands.'
Others include 'beware people who smell' and 'tread carefully in the company of moustaches, side-burns and beards'.
The 39-page notebook, with writing in blue and black ink, is going under the hammer with Heritage Auctions, of Dallas, Texas.
It has been consigned by a private collector and is tipped to sell for £17,000. ($20,000).
The British writer also had no love for the country's ruling class as he wrote 'avoid people who call you Old Boy, and all politicians'.
And pet owners were also given short shrift as Fleming mused 'don't buy anything that eats'.
On a more serious note, he jotted down an alternative epigraph for You Only Live Twice.
It read: 'You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you are about to die.'
It is very similar to the final version used in the book: 'You only live twice: Once when you're born, and once when you look death in the face.'
His final point, returning to the Bond theme, is 'live until you're dead'.
You Only Live Twice was published in 1964 and was then made into a film starring Sean Connery as 007 three years later. It was Connery's fifth appearance as Bond.
Joe Maddalena, vice president of Heritage Auctions, said: 'James Bond has been around for so long, and become such an icon and in literature and film and pop culture writ large, that we take the character and his creation for granted; it's like he's always been there.
'But these handwritten documents straight from his creator provide us with an insight and a perspective that often make 007 seem brand-new.
'We're allowed into the creative process; we're over his shoulder as Bond is born.'
Ian Fleming's rules for life
1) Don't draw your gun unless you can see both the other man's hands.
2) Don't waste your time on women who wear a bracelet on their left ankle.
3) Beware of motorcars with two women in the front seat.
4) Don't play cards against married couples, unless they are drunk.
5) See the brand name on the bottle
6) Avoid people who call you 'Old Boy,' and all politicians.
7) Never eat scrambled eggs unless you make them yourself.
8) Talk secrets only in the open air
9) Don't buy anything that eats
10) Beware of people who smell and tread carefully in the company of moustaches, side-burns, or beards.
11) Have nothing to do with correspondence in coloured ink - particularly when variegated.
12) Cut down on your drink when your eyes get red and on your smoking when your breath feels short. Don't worry about cirrhosis of the liver or cancer.
13) Live until you're dead.
With the release of With a Mind to Kill, author Anthony Horowitz will wrap up his Bond novel trilogy. Here, he writes about the journey, from reading Dr No as a 10-year-old to bidding a fond farewell to the iconic character.
This is not an easy piece to write because it is my goodbye to James Bond, a character who has played a huge part in my life.
I still remember reading Dr No as an unhappy 10-year-old and being transported away from the grim prep school where I found myself. I think it was always my ambition to write a Bond novel… but I never dreamed that I would end up being commissioned to do three.
To be honest, I was quite tetchy with the Ian Fleming estate when they announced the new adventures that began with Sebastian Faulks authoring Devil May Care in 2008. Then came Jeffrey Deaver and Carte Blanche (great title) in 2011 and William Boyd with Solo in 2013. I very much enjoyed these books, and admire all three writers, but even so I couldn’t help thinking: “Why not me?”
Bond was in my bloodstream. He’d inspired the Alex Rider series, which had launched my career. I’d shown, with Sherlock Holmes, that I could write a so-called continuation novel…although it’s not a description I particularly like. So what were they waiting for? When were they going to call?
To my huge relief, they finally did get in touch in 2014 and I remember being summoned to my first meeting in the boardroom of the family bank (founded by Ian Fleming’s grandfather) near Trafalgar Square. I was as nervous as if I’d been asked to report to Spectre and arrived in a suit and tie, clutching my notes for the book I had in mind. I looked ridiculous the moment I stepped through the door. The family could not have been more relaxed, informal… casually dressed. Nor were they at all sinister. Throughout my long relationship with them, they have been endlessly supportive. We’ve had a few differences of opinion – what Bond should wear in bed, for example – but they’ve never pulled rank.
I was both surprised and very pleased to be asked by the estate to return to Bond for Forever and a Day (a better title, I think… I was astonished it hadn’t been used before). To begin with, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. I’d got away with it once. Would I be so lucky a second time? In the end, what decided me was something very simple. Out of nowhere, the opening line of the book popped into my head. “So, 007 is dead.” Of course, 007 is a number, not a man, and suddenly I saw that it might be fun to describe how James Bond became 007, to go back to the very beginning of his career. Fleming had provided a few clues: a shooting in New York, a silent killing in Stockholm. Why did it have to be silent? What method did Bond use?
Sometimes I write books because they are the only way to answer a question that won’t go away, and this was the case here. I really wanted to write the chapter, ‘Strawberry Moon’, to see Bond perform his first, bloody kill. I wanted to describe his first assignment – in this case, investigating the murder of another agent in Marseille. The South of France is, of course, a perfect and well-rehearsed locale for our man. Another villain introduced himself in the shape of Jean-Paul Scipio, larger-than-life in more than one sense. Again, I was surprised that Fleming had never used extreme corpulence as the leitmotif for one of his villains (Mr Big in Live and Let Die is muscular rather than fat). Even as I created Scipio, I knew how I was going to kill him. This always encourages me. It gives me the impulse to write quickly, to get to the end of the book.
And then there was Madame Sixtine. Along with the title, getting the leading lady right in a Bond novel is always a challenge. It’s not just a question of avoiding the obvious pitfalls that come with modern sensibility and inadvertently giving offence. Despite their names (Pussy Galore, Plenty O’Toole), Fleming’s women are all remarkable; strong, independently minded, unforgettable – a hard act to follow.
I based Madame Sixtine on some of the women I’d read about in the Special Operations Executive, a highly secretive organisation created by Churchill in the Second World War. Many extraordinary women worked for the SOE as field agents, radio operators (with a life expectancy of about six weeks) and administrators. I loved writing about Madame Sixtine and her relationship with Bond, and although I was nervous about the inevitable bedroom scene – which actually takes place in the living room of her hideaway in Antibes – it seemed natural and unforced.
I’m not sure how two books became a trilogy. These books are not easy to write, mainly because of the enormous amount of research involved. It’s not just a question of knowing what car, what restaurant, what cocktail was around in the Fifties; it has to be the right restaurant, the right car, the right cocktail. Writing each page is a stop-and-start process, constantly referring back to the books, to biographies of Fleming, to the internet. I feel myself living in the shadow of Bond’s – and Fleming’s – snobbery. This extends only to objects, incidentally. Never to people.
But there was a part of me that couldn’t let go. At the same time, I’d written about Bond at the beginning and in the middle of his career. Surely it made sense to take a look at the very end?
And then there’s the last Bond novel: The Man with the Golden Gun. It’s not my favourite. Ian Fleming wasn’t well when he was writing it, and I can feel his fatigue in some of the chapters. It’s said that Kingsley Amis had to work on the final draft. Even so, I’ve always loved the opening of the book: Bond’s return to London after being brainwashed by the Russians and his failed attempt to assassinate M. And who exactly is Colonel Boris, who is mentioned in the text but never actually described (he appears briefly in From Russia with Love too)? Colonel Boris was a gift. And going behind the Iron Curtain just at the time as the Soviet empire was beginning to unravel seemed too good an opportunity to miss.
With a Mind to Kill is a markedly different Bond novel to my first two. It’s more intimate and driven more by character rather than some madcap scene to change the world. The three-act structure is very much borrowed from Fleming (who used it, for example, in Goldfinger) and as an end-of-career story, it delves into Bond’s life story, reprising one famous scene in particular and picking up on Bond’s short, disastrous marriage. It helped that I had visited Moscow and Berlin while the Iron Curtain was still in place but, for what it’s worth, the biggest challenge of the book was describing the dreariness that I remembered in a way that wouldn’t make it all too dreary a read. I see A Mind to Kill as not just the end for my Bond but also the end of a whole era of spies and spycraft.
I write this not knowing how well the book will be received and usually I get quite nervy in the weeks before publication. But not this time. It’s exactly the book I wanted to write and I say goodbye to Bond in exactly the way I wanted. I know I’ll miss him but I feel my work is done.
.James Bond continuation author Anthony Horowitz says 007 should never have been killed in Daniel Craig's final film No Time to Die.
Having been licensed to write new stories about Ian Fleming's fictional spy by the late writer's estate, the novelist weighed in on the decision for Craig's version of the character to die, and admitted he almost considered it for new book With a Mind to Kill.
"I didn't do it because, first of all, I think it would be impertinent of me to kill a character that I hadn't created, and secondly Bond shouldn't die, Bond is for ever," the 67-year-old told The Times newspaper.
Horowitz explained how he debated asking "the estate for permission to kill Bond," but decided against it, and insisted producers shouldn't have made that call either. He said, "I was sad they did. But it was their decision. I wouldn't have done it. But that's only because... I just think that Bond belongs to everybody."
When it comes to crossovers between his Bond books and the big screen blockbusters, the writer chooses to keep his work entirely separate. He added, "I never refer to the films. I don't include information or even lines from the films."
Horowitz pointed to the uncertain future for the franchise, after Amazon bought MGM Holdings, the studio behind the Bond films, in March for almost $9 billion, while the Fleming estate only controls the book rights.
Asked who should follow Craig in the role, Horowitz pondered, "I don't know how they will have a new Bond since they killed him... And the ownership has changed. Will they go back to the beginning and start remaking 'From Russia with Love', 'Goldfinger', 'Dr No', as a television series?"
With a Mind To Kill is out now
From The Guardian
A lost screenplay for Moonraker has been discovered that gives an insight into Ian Fleming’s cinematic vision for the character of James Bond.
In the action-packed film Moonraker, James Bond escapes from Jaws, the metal-toothed villain, on a hang-glider that ejects from a speedboat just as he drives over the precipice of a waterfall. It is one of numerous outlandish scenes in the film that Ian Fleming never wrote in his original 007 novel. And it could not be more different to the author’s own version of the film, according to a previously unpublished script.
In 1956, a year after the Moonraker novel was published, Fleming wrote his own 150-page film treatment with a plot that is as serious as the 1979 film is lightweight, despite Roger Moore’s charm as the fictional spy.
Just as in the novel, Bond is portrayed as a cold-hearted assassin, but Fleming makes some changes. The head of the British secret intelligence service is not called “M”, and more closely resembles an affable 1950s city gent than the gruff character of the novels and films.
M’s flirtatious secretary, Miss Moneypenny, is conspicuous by her absence.
A Cockney card sharp called Tosh – a special branch officer working undercover – is one of a new cast of characters who take on the villain Hugo Drax.
Jon Gilbert, an expert in Fleming literature, told the Observer: “This is the very first screenplay written by Fleming imagining Bond for the big screen. It is his only attempt at a film script, so it’s hugely important. It is a very Bondian scenario – a megalomaniac who wants to see the downfall of Britain.”
But the Rank Organisation, at the time the biggest film company in the UK, failed to see its potential. The typed screenplay, still in its Rank folder, remained forgotten decades after Fleming had submitted it.
The novelist had to wait until 1962, two years before his death, to see any of his novels adapted for cinema.
The undeveloped screenplay has come to light as part of a major collection of Bond material amassed by two leading antiquarian bookshops in London, Peter Harrington and Adrian Harrington Rare Books, where Gilbert is the resident Fleming expert.
In the screenplay, 007 and a policewoman go swimming off the coast of Kent. Gilbert said: “Bond wears light blue swimming shorts – as blue as his eyes – which would become a defining image of Bond, along with the black tuxedo, portrayed by Connery and revived by Daniel Craig. It would appear to originate here with Fleming, rather than a later screenwriter. That’s quite significant. It’s conceivable that Fleming then developed this when discussing the subsequent films with Broccoli and Saltzman.”
Fleming had been an officer serving in British naval intelligence during the second world war and was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist. Gilbert said that his screenplay was fascinating, but “far too descriptive”. A true scriptwriter would have concentrated on the dialogue, with minimal directions: “That’s why it’s 150 pages. Screenplays for Bond films … are usually 100 pages. But it reads very well.”
He added that the screenplay is “much more serious” than the 1979 film, which reflects the time when it was created: “You have the threat of the cold war and serious nuclear threats. In the 1970s, the films reflected a climate that wasn’t life-threatening.”
The screenplay had been under the radar until it surfaced at a Bonhams auction in 2015, from where it was acquired by a private collector.
Andrew Lycett, author of the biography Ian Fleming: The Man Who Created James Bond, told the Observer: “Finding this screenplay is very exciting. Fleming was obsessed with getting his books filmed. He tried very hard to interest producers in the UK and US.
“In 1954, he corresponded with producer Alexander Korda, who had read a proof of his second novel, Live and Let Die, and had praised it. Fleming wrote to him about his third novel – still to be written – which would be Moonraker. He said it was ‘an expansion of a film story I’ve had in my mind since the war’. This was ‘a straight thriller with particularly English but also general appeal, allowing for some wonderful film settings’. He then went to Jamaica to write the book, which came out the following spring. The point is that Fleming always conceived Moonraker as ‘a film story’. So, to find his screenplay is particularly interesting.”
The title of the new James Bond spin-off novel by Kim Sherwood has been revealed today.
Sherwood has been commissioned by Ian Fleming Publications to write a trilogy of novels which expand on the James Bond universe by introducing a group of new 00 agents.
Double or Nothing will be the first of the trilogy, with a holding cover and plot synopsis now unveiled by the author:
James Bond is missing…
007 has been captured, perhaps even killed, by a sinister private military company. His whereabouts are unknown.
Meet the new generation of spies…
Johanna Harwood, 003. Joseph Dryden, 004. Sid Bashir, 009. Together, they represent the very best and brightest of MI6. Skilled, determined and with a licence to kill, they will do anything to protect their country.
The fate of the world rests in their hands…
Tech billionaire Sir Bertram Paradise claims he can reverse the climate crisis and save the planet. But can he really? The new spies must uncover the truth, because the future of humanity hangs in the balance.
The book is scheduled for publication on September 1, 2022.
A collection of Ian Fleming novels inscribed to the novelist Paul Gallico is being auctioned in London this month.
Gallico (1897 - 1976), was one of the great writers of the 20th century. A journalist, novelist and screenwriter, he was born in New York and died in Monaco but spent much of his life living in Devon, England. He is known for writing The Snow Goose and The Poseidon Adventure.
Gallico was a good friend of Ian Fleming, working with him on the Sunday Times, and he shared Fleming’s interests in golf, diving and fencing. Fleming sent an initial typescript of his first book Casino Royale to Gallico asking if it was publishable. Gallico replied to Fleming “The book is a knockout!” Gallico also wrote an introductory essay to the first 007 Omnibus Gilt-Edged Bonds.
On January 27th, Chiswick Auctions are auctioning the Gallico Estate’s Library and Contents. The sale includes a complete set of Fleming’s Bond novels in their first editions, and eight of them are inscribed by the author to Gallico.
A first edition, first issue presentation copy of Casino Royale is inscribed by Fleming to “Paul [Gallico] from Balzache, 1953”. The pair were close drinking buddies, and Balzache is a play on “balls-ache”, which would have amused Gallico. The guide price for this copy is £18,000 - £22,000.
For more information about the sale and other items up for auction, visit Paul Gallico (chiswickauctions.co.uk)
The third official James Bond novel by award-winning novelist Anthony Horowitz will be called With a Mind to Kill. It will be published on May 26th, 2022, by Jonathan Cape.
The novel opens with M's funeral. One man is missing from the graveside: the traitor who pulled the trigger and who is now in custody, accused of M's murder - James Bond.
Behind the Iron Curtain, a group of former Smersh agents want to use the British spy in an operation that will change the balance of world power. Bond is smuggled into the lion's den - but whose orders is he following, and will he obey them when the moment of truth arrives?
In a mission where treachery is all around and one false move means death, Bond must grapple with the darkest questions about himself. But not even he knows what has happened to the man he used to be.
Anthony Horowitz is the only author in recent years to have been invited by Ian Fleming Publications to write successive, official James Bond novels. The collaboration began in 2015 with Trigger Mortis, followed by Forever and a Day in 2018.
Signed copies are available to pre-order today from Waterstones and other bookshops.
HarperCollins has scooped an "audacious, pacy, sexy and irresistibly entertaining" authorised new James Bond trilogy by Kim Sherwood, making her the first woman to write a 007 novel.
The publisher said: "James Bond is missing, presumed captured or even killed. All of Bond’s contemporaries are gone and a new generation of Double O agents has been recruited to replace them and battle a global threat. At the same time, M and Moneypenny are searching for a mole in MI6. Will the truth be uncovered in time—or is this the end of the Double O section?"
HarperCollins added: "Kim is steeped in the world of James Bond, and this trilogy is fresh, contemporary and thrill-a-minute, with a new generation of spies everyone will love. It’s going to be so much fun to publish, and I cannot wait for readers to be introduced to the new Double O world.”
They added: "Kim Sherwood has pulled off the seemingly impossible task of writing a new Bond novel that is both respectful of Fleming’s original genius and yet refreshingly modern. The book is audacious, pacy, sexy and just irresistibly entertaining. People are going to be talking about this one.”
Author Sherwood said Bond has been "one of the enduring loves" of her life since she first watched Pierce Brosnan dive from the dam in GoldenEye. "I was soon hooked on Ian Fleming’s novels. As a teenager, I chose Fleming when my English teacher asked us to write about an author we admired—I still have the school report. Since then, I’ve dreamt of writing James Bond. It’s rare that dreams come true, and I am grateful to the Fleming family for this incredible opportunity. I feel honoured to be the first novelist to expand the Bond universe through the Double O sector, bringing new life to old favourites, and fresh characters to the canon. I couldn’t be more excited to introduce the world to my Double O agents.”
Corinne Turner of Ian Fleming Publications, added: “In her first novel Testament (riverrun), Kim showed a rare gift for characterisation, time and place. She drew readers into a journey that unfolded in unexpected ways. These talents and her near-lifelong passion for Fleming and Bond make her the perfect choice for this exciting new extension of the 007 universe. I can’t wait for readers to see what she’s created.”
The book does not yet have a title, but is currently scheduled to be published in the UK in September 2022.
Bond Behind the Iron Curtain is a fascinating new book that looks at the world's most famous secret agent from a completely different angle, through the eyes of the communist bloc.
Even before the film of Dr No was released, the Bond phenomenon was being attacked as pornography, capitalist filth and anti-socialist poison. Its popularity in the West only stoked Russian derision. This new book perfectly captures the political face of Bond through rarely seen images and a variety of texts translated into English for the first time. What makes it of exceptional interest is that much of the Russian ridicule of the figure of Bond in the 1960s has turned out to be extremely accurate.
Nor is it without humour: how the KGB tried to sell a novel in London in which Bond is killed, how the 007 trademark came to be downgraded to 07, how much he was paid for Dr No – in short, Bond Behind the Iron Curtain is introducing readers to a completely unknown side of Bond.
The book is written and edited by James Fleming, one of Ian Fleming's nephews, an author in his own right and editor of The Book Collector, the literary quarterly Ian set up around the same time as he created Bond.
James says: "I think I have been aware for some time that a review of one of Uncle Ian's books had appeared in Izvestiya. At the end of May 1962, before the Dr No film came out, this extraordinary review appeared in the Soviet newspaper denouncing 007 and Fleming, but it was only when I started researching for this book that I finally managed to lay my eyes on a copy of it. Interestingly, Ian's publisher Jonathan Cape considered printing the review on the dust wrapper of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and a proof copy was printed, but in the end, I believe, they were all binned."
The book starts with this full-page attack on James Bond, Ian Fleming and the film of Dr No that appeared in Izvestiya even before the film had been released. The book also includes the first ever translation of the long Russian critique of the Bond films by Maja Turovskaya published in 1966, and the extremely interesting account that appeared in Prague the following year of Sean Connery’s rise to fame. A bonus is the Bulgarian attempt to publish a novel in which Bond was killed.
Featuring 16 rarely seen illustrations and an essay by Błażej Mikuła, the book is 128pp, cased, (jacket design by Sarah Bennett) and is available from The Book Collector from 20th October for £25 plus p&p, pre-orders can be taken now.
The official making of book for No Time To Die will be published by Titan Books (UK) on October 12th.
This lavish 192-page coffee table hardback takes readers behind the scenes of the 25th official James Bond film and reveals the locations, characters, gadgets, weapons, and cars of No Time To Die, with exclusive on-set photography, concept art, costume designs, stunt breakdowns, and more, accompanied by cast and crew interviews.
Author Mark Salisbury is a former editor of Britain's Empire film magazine. He has written numerous movie books, including Burton On Burton, Crimson Peak: The Art Of Darkness, and Prometheus: The Art Of The Film.
The book is currently available for pre-order from Amazon with the price reduced from £39.99 to £28.79.