Ian Lancaster Fleming
Date of birth : 1908-05-28
Date of death : 1964-08-12
Birthplace : Mayfair, London, UK
Nationality : British
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-04-21
Ian Lancaster Fleming (May 28, 1908 – August 12, 1964) was a British author, best remembered for the James Bond series of novels.
Born in Mayfair, London, Ian Fleming was the younger brother of the travel writer, Peter Fleming. He was educated at Eton College and Sandhurst military academy, then went to university on the Continent to study languages. He worked as a journalist and stockbroker before the Second World War. On the eve of war he was recruited as personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, Rear-Admiral John Godfrey.
Fleming’s background in intelligence work gave him the background and experience to write somewhat convincing spy novels. The first James Bond story, Casino Royale, was published in 1953. It is believed that in this initial story he based the female character “Vesper Lynd” on real life SOE agent, Christine Granville. As for the inspiration behind James Bond, one of the strongest candidates is said to have been Merlin Minshall, who worked for Fleming as a spy during the Second World War. Another is a fictional character called Duckworth Drew, created by writer and journalist William Le Queux.
Besides the twelve novels and nine short stories he wrote featuring James Bond, Fleming is also known for the children’s story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Ian Fleming is interred in the Church yard cemetery at the village of Sevenhampton, near Swindon, next to his wife Ann Geraldine Mary Fleming (1913-1981) and son, Caspar Robert Fleming (1952-1975).
Actor Christopher Lee is his cousin. Fleming wanted Lee to play the first Bond film villain, Dr No. (Some sources say Lee was also considered for the role of Bond as well.) Lee later played the title villain in The Man with the Golden Gun.
Fleming worked in UK Naval Intelligence during World War II, and was author of a plan – not in the end carried out – for capturing Naval Enigma material: Operation Ruthless.
In the book The Man Who Was M: The Life of Charles Henry Maxwell Knight by Anthony Masters, ISBN 0-631-13392-5 it is claimed that during the war Fleming conceived the plan that successfully lured Rudolf Hess to fly into captivity in Britain. There’s no other source for these claims.
The typewriter used by Fleming to write his Bond novels is presently in the possession of James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan.
James Bond novels :
Casino Royale (1953; first U.S. publication title: You Asked for It)
Live and Let Die (1954)
Moonraker (1955; first U.S. publication title: Too Hot to Handle)
Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
From Russia with Love (1957)
Dr. No (1958)
For Your Eyes Only (a collection of short stories, 1960)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963)
You Only Live Twice (1964)
The Man With The Golden Gun (1965; allegedly finished by Kingsley Amis)
Octopussy and The Living Daylights (a collection of short stories, 1966)
For Your Eyes Only contained the short stories: “From A View to a Kill,” “For Your Eyes Only,” “Risico,” “Quantum of Solace”, and “The Hildebrand Rarity.” Octopussy and the Living Daylights was initially published with just the two short stories, “Octopussy” and “The Living Daylights” as the book title suggests. The 1967 paperback edition saw the title shortened to Octopussy and a third story, “Property of a Lady” added. In the 1990s, the longer version of the book title was restored and beginning with new editions published in 2002, the book includes a fourth short story, “007 in New York.”
View the full website biography of Ian Lancaster Fleming.