Website last updated: 26-2-2024

Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born by Matthew Parker (UK hardback)

By: FSWL team
Goldeneye Ian Fleming in Jamaica 2014
Goldeneye: Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica is written by Matthew Parker and published in hardback by Hutchinson.

"I am going to live in Jamaica. Just live in Jamaica and lap it up, and swim in the sea and write books." - Ian Fleming

For two months of every year, from 1946 to his death eighteen years later, Ian Fleming lived at Goldeneye, the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white sand beach on Jamaica’s stunning north coast.

For Fleming, Jamaica’s colour and heat presented a welcome break from the greyness of post-war London. He loved the physical beauty of the ‘great green island’, the flowers, the dancing hummingbirds. He relished its sensual and unbuttoned atmosphere; an imperial backwater that harked back to the empire’s glory days. Fleming threw himself into the hedonistic Jet Set party scene along the north coast of the island: Hollywood giants, and the cream of British aristocracy, the theatre, literary society and the secret services, spent their time here drinking, bed-hopping and delighting in the luxurious excess that would find its way into Fleming’s novels.

Writing Casino Royale (1953), Fleming established a routine at Goldeneye that would carry him through every James Bond novel ever written. He rose to take breakfast, staring out to sea, then wrote, swam, wrote some more. Although neither Ian nor his near neighbour and close friend Noel Coward smoked marijuana, many visitors, including the likes of Graham Greene, did. Fleming’s particular vices were strong liquor, cigarettes and women.

Fleming’s favourite place was the Goldeneye reef, where he spent hours floating, observing and shark hunting. These adventures underwater, in a place of both beauty and danger, inspired some of his very best Bond scenes. Goldeneye tells the story of Fleming’s time on this extraordinary island and explores how its spirit – its exoticism, its unpredictable danger, its melancholy, its love of exaggeration and gothic melodrama – infused Fleming’s novels and led to his greatest creation of all: James Bond.

Book details:
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Hutchinson
Language: English
ISBN-10: 009195410X
ISBN-13: 978-0091954109

About the Author:
Born in Central America, Matthew Parker spent part of his childhood in the West Indies, acquiring a life-long fascination with the history of the region. Since graduating from Oxford, he has worked as an editorial consultant on a number of works of history, and written three bestselling books. He now lives with his family in east London.

Editor's note:
For more Ian Fleming books featured on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Photo above:
Cover for Matthew Parker's book Goldeneye: Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica. © 2014 Hutchinson. All rights reserved.

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