Website last updated: 7-5-2024

For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond

By: FSWL team
For your eyes only ian fleming and james bond
The book is written by Ben Macintyre and published by Bloomsbury is the most enlightening, enlivening book on Bond and his creator that any self-respecting fan will ever read.

This lavishly produced hardback, full of rarely-seen photography, accompanies the 2008 Imperial War Museum exhibition of the same name.

"I am going to write the spy story to end all spy stories."

One morning in February 1952, in a holiday hideaway on the island of Jamaica, a middle-aged British journalist sat down at his desk and set about creating a fictional secret agent, a character that would go on to become one of the most successful, enduring and lucrative creations in literature…

"Everything I write has a precedent in truth.’"

Ian Fleming experienced at first hand almost every aspect of the Bond legend: harsh boarding-school upbringing and lack of a father figure, engagement with a lifetime’s cast of extraordinary characters, and an obsession with plots and gadgets. Working in naval intelligence during the Second World War and afterwards as a journalist, he saw at first hand the scheming and machinations of nations in conflict, and gained insight into that famous background to all Bond books: the Cold War.

And yet action is only a part of the drama, alongside romance, personal loss and pursuit of life’s luxuries. Fleming eventually settled into matrimony after a long and colourful bachelorhood, but that did not mean an end to indulgence. A man of particular tastes, he passed that discernment on to his literary alter ego, thereby adding the polish to his all-round gentleman hero.

Researched and written in Ben Macintyre’s inimitable style, and packed with images rarely seen, For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond is the most enlightening, enlivening book on Bond and his creator that any self-respecting fan will ever read.

Ben Macintyre is a columnist and associate editor on The Times. He has worked as the newspaper’s correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington, and now lives in London with his wife and three children. His previous book, Agent Zigzag, the true story of a WWII double-agent, was a recent Sunday Times bestseller.

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