Website last updated: 12-7-2024

115 years since James Bond creator Ian Fleming was born

By: Anders Frejdh
Ian Fleming Casino Royale
28th May 2020 marks the 112th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming, the creator and man behind the literary James Bond, still a hugely popular character around the globe. 2023 also marks the 70th anniversary for Fleming's first James Bond novel, Casino Royale.

Books about Ian Fleming that FSWL considers essential reading for James Bond scholars include Andrew Lycett's brilliant biography Ian Fleming: The Man behind James Bond, John Griswold's Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories and Jon Gilbert's Ian Fleming: The Bibliography.

About James Bond creator Ian Fleming

Ian Lancaster Fleming was born at 27 Green Street in London on 28th May 1908, the second of four brothers. He was educated at Eton College and then abroad in Germany and Austria.

After an early career at Reuters news agency, he became a stockbroker. During World War 2 he worked throughout as assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence in the Admiralty in London, privy to many secrets. It was his experience in this job that was to provide many of the characters and incidents that he was to write about later in the Bond books.

Following the war, he became foreign manager, in charge of foreign correspondents, for Kemsley newspapers, owners of the Sunday Times and other papers. But his creative imagination remained under wraps until 1952, When, at the age of 43, he settled down in his house in Jamaica, and produced – in not much more than two months - Casino Royale - first published in 1953 and the first adventure of James Bond.

Ian Fleming Goldeneye Jamaica
Ian Fleming in his study at GoldenEye, his summer house in Jamaica. Photo from Hulton Archive. All rights reserved.

He published a further thirteen James Bond titles and lived to witness their enormous success, and having seen his character played by Sean Connery in the first two films, Dr. No (1962) and From Russia with Love (1963).

Ian Fleming with James Bond film producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli
Ian Fleming with James Bond producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli. Photo from Pictorial Parade. All rights reserved.

He married Anne Rothermere in 1952 and in August that year his only son, Caspar, was born. While convalescing from his first heart attack in 1962, he wrote a short story about a flying car for Caspar - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - first published in 1964. Ian Fleming died, aged 56, on 12th August 1964 at Sandwich in Kent.

After Fleming's death, other writers have continued to write about James Bond. Kingsley Amis, under the pseudonym Robert Markham, wrote the novel Colonel Sun that was published in 1968. Between 1981 and 1996, John Gardner wrote 16 James Bond novels. He was followed by Raymond Benson who wrote 12 Bond novels and Charlie Higson who wrote five books about the young Bond. Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver and William Boyd who wrote one each, then Steve Cole who wrote another four books about the young Bond. The last two James Bond novels are written by Anthony Horowitz.

Films about Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming has been portrayed twice on film, first in Goldeneye (1989) starring Charles Dance and the year after in Spymaker starring Jason Connery (Sean Connery's son) as Fleming.

Ian Fleming James Bond bibliography

>Casino Royale (1953)
>Live and Let Die (1954)
>Moonraker (1955)
>Diamonds are Forever (1956)
>From Russia With Love (1957)
>Dr. No (1958)
>Goldfinger (1959)
>For Your Eyes Only (1960), a collection of short stories
>Thunderball (1961)
>The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
>On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)
>You Only Live Twice (1964)
>The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)
>Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)

Ian Fleming with his James Bond short story collection For Your Eyes Only
Ian Fleming with his James Bond short story collection For Your Eyes Only. Photo from Evening Standard. All rights reserved.

Ian Fleming's non-Bond books

>The Diamond Smugglers (1957)
>Ian Fleming introduces Jamaica (1963)
>Thrilling Cities (1963), a travel book

Photo on top:
Ian Fleming with his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, published in 1953. Photo from Hulton Archive. All rights reserved.

More information about Ian Fleming and his works on Ian Fleming Publications website.



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James Bond book covers © 1953 - 2024 Ian Fleming Publications and Glidrose Productions Ltd.

Founder & Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh