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.
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.”
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)
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.
To mark Ian Fleming’s birthday today, Jonathan Cape, Vintage and Ian Fleming Publications have announced that Anthony Horowitz has been asked to write a third official James Bond novel.
Anthony Horowitz said: “I am very excited to have started my third Bond novel with the continuing support of the Ian Fleming estate. Forever and a Day looked at Bond’s first assignment. Trigger Mortis was mid-career. The new book begins with the death of Scaramanga and Bond’s return to Jamaica to confront an old enemy.”
Corinne Turner, Managing Director of IFP, said: “We’re delighted and excited that Anthony is writing his third Bond novel. From the nuggets we’ve seen so far, we are confident it will be another best-selling episode in the adventures of 007.”
The untitled book will be published in May 2022 by Jonathan Cape in the UK, Commonwealth and EU, and by Harper Collins US in the United States.
A special exhibition is set to celebrate the illustrator of the original James Bond book covers.
This summer, The Salisbury Museum in England celebrates the life and work of writer, illustrator and teacher Richard Chopping (1917 – 2008), best-known for illustrating the original book covers for James Bond.
Richard Chopping was a master of the trompe-l'œil technique, producing highly realistic three-dimensional images, and it was this distinctive style that led him to be commissioned by Ian Fleming to illustrate nine of the James Bond book covers from 1957 to 1966.
The exhibition features some of the original working drawings for the books, including the striking skull design for Goldfinger– one of Chopping’s personal favourites, and a commission that had been declined by his former friend and subsequent arch-rival, Lucien Freud.
The exhibition looks at Chopping’s entire output, positioning his work for Fleming firmly within the context of his 40-year career. Highlights from his early years include his illustrations for Butterflies in Britain (1943) and the collection of children’s short stories Mr Postlethwaite's Reindeer (1945). There are also delicate wild flower drawings, prepared for an ambitious 22 volume series on British wild flowers by Penguin, which was abandoned due to spiralling costs, and Chopping’s original design and preparatory studies for the book cover of his first novel The Fly (1965) which was a success despite being described by one reviewer as a ‘just about the most unpleasant book of the year’.
With many works which have never previously been displayed, this exhibition will be a genuine treasure-trove for the Chopping cognoscenti and for those discovering his work for the first time. They reveal a talented artist whose work should perhaps be as well-known as the fictional spy he helped make famous.
The exhibition runs from Monday, May 17, 2021 to Sunday, October 3, 2021. For more information visit https://salisburymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/richard-chopping-original-bond-artist
A complete set of first edition, first printings of Ian Fleming’s James Bond series has gone on sale for £475,000.
The collection is being sold by John Atkinson Books, and eleven of the fifteen novels are signed with inscriptions to associates or intimate friends of Ian Fleming. Also included is a signed copy of James Bond’s ‘Birds of the West Indies’.
Each book is contained in the original dust wrapper and each in custom made solander boxes.
The collection consists:
Casino Royale – Signed and inscribed to Lisl Popper, lover of Ian Fleming and one of three people Fleming left £500 to in his will.
Live and Let Die – Signed and inscribed to Muriel Williams, secretary to Fleming at Kemsley Newspapers.
Moonraker – Signed and inscribed to Joyce Emerson, Fleming’s ghost writer on his ‘Atticus’ column
From Russia With Love – Signed and inscribed to Fleming’s chiropractor Raymond Singleton-Ward
Goldfinger – Signed and inscribed to the golfer Sir Henry Cotton
Thunderball – Signed and inscribed to Wing Commander Dobson, who advised Fleming on Vulcan bombers used in the book
The Spy Who Loved Me – Signed and inscribed to William Plomer, friend of Fleming and responsible for having Casino Royale published
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – Signed and inscribed to Joss Pender, golding friend at Royal St. George’s golf club
You Only Live Twice – Signed and inscribed to Aubrey Forshaw, managing director at Pan paperbacks
Octopussy – Signed by actors Roger Moore, Maryam D’Abo and Maud Adams
Birds of the West Indies – Signed by James Bond
John Atkinson, the rare book dealer based in Harrogate, England, told the Financial Times: “Along with Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter, Bond is one of the best-known characters from 20th-century literature. The books are just very popular and probably always will be, given the success of the films.”
"The books are like works of art, and the collection gives you an insight into Fleming's lifestyle."
You can splash out on the collection here.
"Ian Fleming: The Brain Behind Bond" was the final interview recorded with the author. It was first broadcast as a half hour documentary by CBC-TV's Explorations on August 17th, 1964 - just five days after Fleming died.
Th interview was carried out by Munroe Scott, a Candian writer and director, at Goldeneye in Jamaica. With the Caribbean sea in the background, a chain-smoking Fleming appears relaxed as he speaks candidly, articulately and intimitely about his own life and that of his fictional super-spy.
You can now watch the full interview below.
By Matthew Blackman
On May 12, 1952, Ian Fleming was having lunch at a restaurant in London with the South African writer William Plomer. The two had been friends for years and had worked together in Naval intelligence during World War II. “How,” Fleming suddenly asked, “do you get cigarette smoke out of a woman once you’ve got it in?”
Plomer, bemused, carried on eating, unsure what Fleming was talking about. “You can’t use ‘exhales,’ while ‘puffs out’ sounds silly.” According to Plomer’s biographer, Peter Alexander, Plomer looked up sharply and exclaimed: “You’ve written a book!” After a pause, Fleming admitted that he had. The book was Casino Royale, and Plomer would ultimately be the man who would get it into print, despite the fact that even Fleming’s publisher hated it.
In many ways Plomer was an unlikely person to steer the world’s most famous secret agent into being. Born in 1903 in the tiny dusty colonial outpost of Pietersburg, in northern South Africa, Plomer was bookish and reclusive. And, very un-Bond-like, he hated gadgets — he refused to have even a telephone in his house. But there was another side to him, a side that sustained friendships with people of diverse backgrounds and vastly different personalities.
Like George Orwell, Plomer was the son of a colonial civil servant and grew up between places. He was partly educated in Great Britain, partly in South Africa. And, also like Orwell, he diverged from his social set, avoiding college for a career as a sheep farmer in South Africa, even though all he ever wanted was to be a writer.
After a year of apprenticing on a sheep farm, Plomer went to Zululand to help his father, who had bought a broken-down old trading station in a beautiful, extremely remote part of the region. There, the 19-year-old Plomer sat down many nights with an oil lamp and a pencil to write his first novel, as well as try his hand at poetry.
The poetry he sent to a man by the name of John Langalibalele Dube, who lived about 80 miles away. Dube was the founding president of the African National Congress — the political party later led by Nelson Mandela — and editor of the Black-focused newspaper Ilanga Lase Natali (The Natal Sun).
Dube liked the poetry and published it. More than that, the two men became friends. Through this friendship and others with activists of colour, Plomer developed loathing for white South African racists, a feeling he expressed through satire in his first novel, Turbott Wolfe. When the 21-year-old Plomer finished Turbott Wolfe, he sent it unsolicited to Britain’s Hogarth Press, the publishing house run by Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Plomer claimed that the two were drawn to the manuscript, which dealt frankly with interracial love, only because it was written “with hard pencil on thin paper” — he had no typewriter and ordinary paper was heavy and expensive to mail.
The Woolfs decided to publish the novel immediately, and it was well-received in Britain and the United States. In South Africa, though, it was a different story: Many white racists in the country were horrified by the plot. Under considerable social pressure, Plomer — who at 22 had begun to realize and accept his homosexuality — jumped on a ship bound for Japan and wound up settling in London, in 1929. In later life, he wrote of his native country, which had by then begun the policies of apartheid: “I could not imagine living there in a state of tension that I should only find endurable if bent on martyrdom.”
While living in England, Plomer continued to write, publishing several novels, but he had no steady income until, a decade later, he was offered the position of literary adviser to the publisher Jonathan Cape. The job was not an easy one, as Cape, a tall and forbidding figure with iron-gray hair, was known to be a hard-nosed businessman from a tough working-class background. What’s more, Cape had a passionate dislike for fictional thrillers, which Plomer enjoyed. Plomer is said to have found it hard to work for Cape although he respected him as a publisher.
In 1929, Plomer received a party invitation from a man he had never met who professed to have enjoyed Turbott Wolfe — aspiring writer and journalist Ian Fleming. The two would strike up a lasting friendship. Although Plomer never shared Fleming’s passion for women, fast cars and gambling, their mutual enjoyment of witty conversation is what kept the friendship alive for more than 30 years, until Fleming’s death in 1964.
When Fleming finally gave Plomer Casino Royale to have a look at, Plomer “was greatly impressed by it,” Alexander says. The same could not be said for Plomer’s publishers. None of the company directors enjoyed the book or wanted to publish it, with one decrying the novel as “deeply shocking” and cynically violent. Cape himself only read it because of Plomer’s insistence that it had to be published, and would would never read another Bond novel again.
Still, Cape ended up publishing it in 1953 and in doing so created a cash cow for the publishing house. Throughout their friendship, Plomer continued to offer Fleming literary support: The novel Goldfinger, which has never gone out of print, is dedicated to him.