IAN FLEMING, HIS OFFICE, FLEET STREET, LONDON, OCTOBER, 1962
THE WATERMARK AND THE SIGNATURE ON THE IMAGE WILL NOT BE PRESENT ON AN ORIGINAL PRINT.
David Steen: “This shot was taken at Fleming’s office in Mitre Court, just off Fleet Street. The magnifying glass, an irresistible prop for a spy-writer, was there on his desk. As for the cigarette holder, in those days everyone smoked and the day had yet to arrive when smoking became politically incorrect and editors decreed no shots of smokers.”
Ian Lancaster Fleming (28 May 1908 – 12 August 1964) was an English author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer. Fleming is best known for creating the fictional spy James Bond and the series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character. Fleming was from a wealthy family, connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. and his father was MP for Henley from 1910 until his death on the Western Front in 1917. Educated at Eton, the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and the universities of Munich and Geneva, Fleming moved through a number of jobs before he started writing.
The Bond books are amongst the biggest-selling series of fictional books of all time, having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming also wrote the children’s story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two works of non-fiction. Whilst working in British Naval Intelligence during the Second World War, Fleming was involved in the planning stages of Operation Mincemeat and Operation Golden Eye, the former of which was successfully carried out. Fleming was also involved in the planning and overseeing of two active service units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force.
His experiences of the people he met during his wartime service provided much of the background and detail of the Bond novels and his career as a journalist added colour and depth to the stories. In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming fourteenth on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″.
Fleming was a heavy smoker and heavy drinker and suffered from heart disease; he died in the early morning of 12 August 1964 from a heart attack. Two Bond books written by Fleming were published after his death and a further five continuation authors have also produced novels. Fleming’s creation has also appeared in film twenty-four times with seven actors playing the role of Bond.