An Apology to Mrs. James Bond from The Man with the Golden Typewriter
Fergus Fleming’s The Man with the Golden Typewriter is out now in paperback, and to mark the occasion, we’re sharing one of the fascinating letters within. In our interview with Fergus, we asked him about some of his favourite letters, and this was his response: ‘One of the best is Ian’s apology to Mrs James Bond.’
With this in mind, we’ve presented the letter in question below, along with its short introduction written by Fergus, also featured in The Man with the Golden Typewriter.
Introduction by Fergus Fleming:
‘It was inevitable we should catch up with you…‘ On which ominous note Mrs James Bond began her letter of 1 February 1961. Fleming had never made any secret of the fact that he had borrowed his hero’s name from one of his favourite books, Birds of the West Indies, by the American ornithologist James Bond. But now, almost ten years after he had written Casino Royale, news reached the Bonds that ‘you had brazenly picked up the name of a real human being for your rascal‘. They didn’t really mind, as the real Bond had led an adventurous life, his colourful exploits being not too far, in the ornithological scale of things, from those of his fictional equivalent. ‘I told MY JB he could sue you for defamation of character,‘ Mrs Bond concluded cheerfully. ‘But JBBA [James Bond British Agent] is too much fun for that and JB authenticus regards the whole thing as “a joke”‘.
Ian Fleming’s Letter:
TO MRS. JAMES BOND, 721, Davidson Road, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia 18, Pasadena
This is just one of many letters featured in the book which provide true insight into the life of Ian Fleming. The Man with the Golden Typewriter is now available in hardback, paperback, audio and digital editions.
Material from the The Man with the Golden Typewriter © The Ian Fleming Estate, 2015