Celebrating 70 Years & a New Chapter

Last week on Thursday 13 April, we had the great pleasure and privilege of releasing our new editions of the fourteen classic James Bond stories, and two Fleming non-fiction works, Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers. This release date coincided with the 70th anniversary of the publication of Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale.

To celebrate 70 years of the world’s favourite spy, and to launch our own editions through Ian Fleming Publications, we were thrilled to mark the occasion with a party at the historic London Library, which has its own links to Ian Fleming.

Established in 1841, with an initial collection of only 3,000 books, today the library holds over 1 million volumes. Ian Fleming became a London Library member in 1952, shortly after having arrived back in England having just completed the first draft of Casino Royale in Jamaica. It was published the following April. He remained a long-standing Library member and his entire James Bond output was written whilst a member.

The library had a range of pieces from their archive on display, including first editions of Casino Royale and the Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies, the book written by ornithologist James Bond, after whom Fleming named his hero. Also on display was a copy of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the book Burke’s General Armory, which features in Fleming’s novel marked as ‘Property of the London Library’. The library had also produced a facsimile of Fleming’s membership application.

We were happy to partner with David Koppel, nephew of Sunday Times photographer Frank Hermann, to showcase prints of Fleming’s visit to the set of Dr. No. You can learn more about the story behind the prints on David’s site here.

Ian’s nieces, Kate Grimond and Lucy Fleming, delivered a speech on the original publication of Casino Royale, with quotes from the book itself as well as from contemporary reviews. Then followed IFPL Managing Director Corinne Turner, who spoke on the future of the Bond books, the exciting decision to bring the publishing of the original Fleming books in-house, as well as the imminent publication of a new 007 story. Written by Charlie Higson to commemorate King Charles III’s Coronation, all the royalties from the project will go to support the work of UK charity the National Literacy Trust.

We were joined by friends from across the world of Bond and the publishing industry, including Double or Nothing author Kim Sherwood, and Charlie Higson, author of the Young Bond series and the forthcoming On His Majesty’s Secret Service.

Thank you to all of the guests who joined us for an unforgettable evening celebrating all things Fleming in such an historic location!

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