It is now 50 years since the premiere of Dr No, the very first Bond film, with Sean Connery introducing 007 as the glamorous secret agent who would become the single most profitable movie character in the history of cinema. But James Bond was invented by one man, Ian Fleming, a wartime intelligence officer and Sunday Times newspaper man who lived to see only the very beginning of the Bond cult.
This biography remains the definitive account of how only Ian Fleming could have dreamed up James Bond, for he led a life as colourful as anything in his fiction, which in turn became a covert autobiography. Charming, debonair and a ruthless womaniser, globetrotting from wartime Algiers to beachside Jamaica, Fleming was as elusive and opaque as his imaginary creation.
"Back in 1965, when I started work on this biography, Ian Fleming had been dead less than a year. Sean Connery had made the first two Bond films, Dr No followed by From Russia With Love, which ironically was released a fortnight after Ian's death. And at that point, no-one, not even the most devoted Bondophile, would have predicted eighteen more successful films to come, and that Ian's creation would become the most famous secret agent in the world and the most profitable serial figure in the history of the cinema."