Ian Fleming

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Ian Fleming

Ian Lancaster Fleming (May 28, 1908August 12, 1964) is an English author, best remembered for writing the James Bond series of novels as well as the children's story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.



Fleming was born in Mayfair, London, England, to Valentine Fleming and Evelyn St. Croix Fleming, and was a younger brother of travel writer, Peter Fleming. He was educated at Eton College and Sandhurst military academy, then studied languages on the Continent, first at Kitzbhel, Austria, then at Munich University, Bavaria, Germany; afterwards working, first as a journalist for the Reuters news service, and later as a stockbroker with Rowe and Pitman, in Bishopsgate.

In 1939, on the eve of World War II, Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence of the Royal Navy, recruited Fleming as personal assistant, first as Lieutenant, then as Commander. While in Naval Intelligence, Fleming conceived, and was author of, Operation Ruthless, a plan — left unexecuted — for capturing the German naval version of the Wehrmacht's Enigma communications encoder. Anthony Masters's book The Man Who Was M: The Life of Charles Henry Maxwell Knight (ISBN 0-631-13392-5), asserts Fleming conceived the plan successfully luring Nazi Party Deputy Fhrer, Rudolf Hess, into flying to Scotland — in May 1941, to negotiate AngloGerman peace with Churchill — and consequent captivity; this claim has no other source.

As the DNI's personal assistant, Fleming's intelligence work was the background and experience for writing spy novels. The first James Bond novel was Casino Royale, published in 1953. It is believed the woman character, Vesper Lynd, was inspired by real-life SOE agent, Christine Granville; likewise, various inspirations for James Bond, the protagonist, have been suggested. Besides writing the twelve novels and nine short stories featuring James Bond, secret agent 007, Ian Fleming also is known for writing the children's novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The books became wildly successful and part of 1950s popular culture even before being filmed, permitting Fleming to retire comfortably to his home in Jamaica.

During development of the James Bond film series, in 1962, Fleming suggested his cousin, actor Christopher Lee, to play Dr. Julius No, the villain of the first film; sources say Lee also was considered for the James Bond role. (Later, in 1974, Lee was the eponymous villain of the film The Man with the Golden Gun, Francisco Scaramanga.)

In 1964, Ian Fleming died of a heart attack, in Canterbury, Kent, at age 56, and is interred in the Church yard cemetery in the village of Sevenhampton, near Swindon, next to his wife Ann Geraldine Mary Fleming (19131981) and their only son, Caspar Robert Fleming (19521975).

Ian Fleming was also a noted bibliophile, and put together an important library on the theme of significant books in the history of western civilization, books which had "started something". He particularly collected books relating to science and technology such as On the Origin of Species, but also included such milestones as Mein Kampf and Scouting for Boys. He was a major lender to the 1963 exhibition Printing and the Mind of Man and 600 books from his collection are now in the Lilly Library at Indiana University.

In the mid-nineties, Pierce Brosnan, the fifth, official James Bond actor, bought the gold-plated typewriter on which Ian Fleming wrote some of his James Bond novels, in Jamaica.

Selected works

James Bond books


1First U.S. paperback edition was retitled, You Asked for It.
2First U.S. paperback edition was retitled, Too Hot to Handle.
3Short story collection: (i) "From A View to a Kill," (ii) "For Your Eyes Only," (iii) "Risico," (iv) "Quantum of Solace", and (v) "The Hildebrand Rarity."
4Subject of a legal battle over story credit which led to the book's storyline being credited to Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham.
5Fleming gives co-author credit to "Vivienne Michel", the fictional heroine of the book; Fleming refused to allow a paperback edition to be published in the UK, but one was eventually published after his death.
6For years, it has been alleged that Kingsley Amis, and/or others, completed this novel as Fleming died before a finished manuscript was created. Fleming biographers dispute this; see the article on the book for more information.
7Posthumously compiled short story collection. Originally published with two stories: (i) "Octopussy" and (ii) "The Living Daylights". The 1967 paperback edition's title was shortened to Octopussy and a third story, "Property of a Lady", lengthened its page count. In the 1990s, the collection's longer, original title was restored, and with the 2002 edition, the story, "007 in New York" (originally published in some editions of Thrilling Cities (see below)) was added.

Children's story


Biographical films

See also

External links

de:Ian Fleming eo:Ian FLEMING it:Ian Fleming ko:이언 플레밍 nl:Ian Fleming pl:Ian Fleming ja:イアン・フレミング sk:Ian Fleming fi:Ian Fleming sv:Ian Fleming


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