December 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

The Man with the Golden Typewriter

A golden typewriter? Yes, when Ian Fleming finished writing Casino Royale in 1952 (published in 1953), he rewarded himself by purchasing a gold-plated typewriter. The novel was such a success that thirteen more James Bond books followed, as well as two works of non-fiction and the famous children's story, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.

9781408865477.jpgThe Man with the Golden Typewriter is the name of a new book edited by Fleming's nephew, Fergus Fleming, which contains the author's "James Bond" letters, that is, the correspondence he sent--to editors, fans, friends, his wife, his publisher, etc.--related to his most celebrated creation, 007. Sourced from collections around the world, Fergus Fleming brings together the letters that offer insight into the author and his craft, from quibbles over print runs and royalty rates to alternate endings and how he named particular characters. For example, the book includes a letter to Mrs. James Bond in Pasadena, California, in which Fleming apologizes for using her husband's name in his novels. "At that time one of my bibles was, and still is, 'Birds of the West Indies' by James Bond, and it struck me that this name, brief, unromantic and yet very masculine, was just what I needed...."

For Bond fans, this is a volume not to be missed.

Image via Bloomsbury Publishing.