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Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Spy Who Typed Me: 50 Years of James Bond

James Bond fever is sweeping the world yet again, with Skyfall marking the Golden Anniversary of Bond movies. According to Ian Fleming biographer John Pearson, Bond was created by Fleming on Tuesday, January 15, 1952.
Pearson says Fleming used a "20-year-old portable typewriter". Yet it also happens to be the same day that Fleming received from the US the gold-plated Royal Quiet DeLuxe he had ordered at a cost of $US174.
According to Fleming, the character Commander James Andrew Thomas Bond was born in Essen, Germany, on November 11, 1920.
Vanity Fair and LIFE are among the publications celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Bond movies. On October 7-14, 1966, LIFE ran a two-part series on Fleming by Pearson, based on Pearson’s biography, which emphasised that Bond had been created by a man with first-hand experience in espionage.
Fleming had died more than two years earlier.
The images of Fleming using an Olympia SF portable typewriter were taken by Harry Benson on February 23, 1964, in Fleming's study at Goldeneye, his home at Oracabessa, St Mary, in north Jamaica.
Four years ago, Fleming's original desk from Goldeneye went on display at the For Your Eyes Only exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London. If this is authentic, Fleming used a Remington Remette
Alan Seaver Collection
The exhibition included research notes for the Bond books and memorabilia from Fleming’s time as a foreign correspondent in World War II.
The photos of Fleming using a Triumph were taken at Goldeneye in the late 1950s.
At an action at Christie’s of London on November 1, 2006, a number of Fleming’s letters were sold, including one to his typist, Margaret Anderson, jokingly describing the gold-plated typewriter as a "beastly machine". 
One James Bond actor came from this neck of the woods. George Lazenby (On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969) was born in Goulburn and grew up in Queanbeyan, just outside Canberra.
When Fleming himself is portrayed in a movie, the part will be played by Geoffrey Rush, who is a dead ringer!
Ian Fleming was a record-breaking long-jumper at Eton College:
And let's not forget Miss Moneypenny (the late Canadian-born actress Lois Maxwell):


Scott Kernaghan said...

How beautiful is that desk?! I Perfect...

Great post Robert.

Richard P said...

Excellent, you've given me two more good images to add to "Writers and their Typewriters"!

Martin A. Rice, Jr. said...

A Remette?? When he had the gold plated QDL?? He must've been daft! But then I betcha his Remette hadn't been upgraded with a bell and paper scale, like mine!