|Ian Lancaster Fleming (May 28th, 1908–August 12th, 1964) is the British author best remembered • for writing the James Bond series of novels.|
Ian Lancaster Fleming was born in Mayfair, London, England, to Valentine Fleming and Evelyn St. Croix Fleming, and was a younger brother of travel writer, Peter Fleming.
He was educated at Eton College and Sandhurst military academy, then studied languages on the Continent, first at Kitzbühel, Austria, then at Munich University, Bavaria, Germany; afterwards working, first as a journalist for the Reuters news service, and later as a stockbroker • with Rowe and Pitman, in Bishopsgate.
In 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, Rear-Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence of the Royal Navy, • recruited Fleming as personal assistant, first as Lieutenant, then as Commander.
• While in Naval Intelligence, Fleming conceived, and was author of, Operation Ruthless, a plan — left unexecuted — for capturing the German naval version of the Wehrmacht's Enigma communications encoder.
Anthony Masters's book The Man Who Was M: The Life of Charles Henry Maxwell Knight (ISBN 0-631-13392-5), asserts Fleming conceived the plan successfully luring Nazi Party Führer Deputy , Rudolf Hess, into flying to Scotland — in May 1941, to negotiate Anglo–German peace with Churchill — and consequent captivity; this claim • has no other source.
As the DNI's personal assistant, Fleming's intelligence work was the background and experience for writing spy novels.
The first James Bond story, The Hildebrand Rarity, was published in Playboy magazine in 1951, followed by the novel Casino Royale, published in 1953. It is believed the woman character, Vesper Lynd, was inspired by real-life • SOE agent, Christine Granville; likewise, various inspirations for James Bond, the protagonist, have been suggested.
Besides writing the twelve novels and nine short stories • featuring James Bond, secret agent 007, Ian Fleming is also known for writing • the children's novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
The books became wildly successful and part of the 1950's popular culture even before being filmed, permitting Fleming to retire comfortably to his home in Jamaica.
During development of the James Bond film series, in 1962, Fleming suggested his cousin, actor Christopher Lee, to play Doctor No, the villain of the first film; sources say Lee also was considered for the James Bond role. (Later, in 1974, Lee was the eponymous villain of the film The Man with the Golden Gun.)
In 1964, Ian Fleming died of a heart attack, in Canterbury, Kent, at age 56, and is interred in the churchyard cemetery in the village of Sevenhampton, near Swindon, next to his wife Ann Geraldine Mary Fleming (1913–1981) and their only son, Caspar Robert Fleming (1952–1975).
Ian Fleming was also a noted bibliophile, and put together an important library on the theme of significant books in the history of western civilization, books which had "started something".
He particularly collected books relating to science and technology such as On the Origin of Species, but also included such milestones as Mein Kampf and Scouting for Boys. He was a major lender to the 1963 exhibition • Printing and the Mind of Man and 600 books from his collection are now in the Lilly Library at Indiana University.
In the mid-nineties, Pierce Brosnan, the fifth, official James Bond actor, bought the gold-plated • typewriter on which Ian Fleming wrote some of his James Bond novels, in Jamaica.