28May

100 Years Old

Filed under: Centenary,Ian Fleming on May 28, 2008 at 12:01 am

[singlepic=1,320,240,watermark,right]One hundred years ago today Ian Lancaster Fleming was born. On this day we celebrate his life and his greatest legacy with the publication of a new 007 novel, Devil May Care by author Sebastian Faulks and with the publication of the paperback edition of Hurricane Gold by Charlie Higson.

After serving in Naval Intelligence during the Second World War, Fleming bought an estate in Jamaica called Goldeneye where in May 1952 he sat down to write the opening to what he told everyone would be the spy story to end all spy stories. He wrote, “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino combine together and hit the taste-buds with an acid shock at three in the morning. Then the soul-erosion produced by high gambling – a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension – becomes unbearable and the senses awake and revolt at the smell of it all”. It later became

The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. Then the soul-erosion produced by high gambling – a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension – becomes unbearable and the senses awake and revolt from it.

The rest is, as they say, history. James Bond was created and published in the first explosive novel, Casino Royale, on April 13, 1953. The book was followed by eleven novels as well as two anthologies housing nine short stories. Fleming also wrote the children’s story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and two published non-fiction books (The Diamond Smugglers -1957 and Thrilling Cities – 1963) before his death on August 12, 1964 at the age of fifty-six.

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