Ian Lancaster Fleming
Ian Fleming was born in London as the son of Major Valentine Fleming, a Conservative M.P., who was killed in World War I, and Evelyn St. Croix Fleming. He was educated at Eton, Sandhurst. After resigning from Sandhurst, which infuriated his mother, Fleming studied languages at the universities of Munich and Geneva. He took the Foreign Service exam, but found himself at the age of twenty-three without a career. From 1929 to 1933 he worked as a journalist in Moscow, then a banker and a stock-broker in London (1935 to 1939).
During World War II Fleming was a high ranking naval officer in the British intelligence. Owing in part to his facility with languages, he was a personal assistant to Admiral John H. Godfrey, who served as the model for James Bond's commanding officer, "M". Fleming organized the No. 30 Assault Unit - the Germans had successfully used similar Intelligence assault unit in Crete in 1941. During a training exercise Fleming had to swim underwater and attach a mine to a tanker. This act became material for the climax of Live and Let Die. After the war Fleming was a foreign manager of Kemsley Newspapers. He held this post until the newspaper group became Thomson Newspapers in 1959.
Fleming's first book was not a spy novel but a foreign correspondent's guide-book which was issued for the education of his staff. In 1952 he married Anne, Lady Rothmere, in Jamaica, where most of the Bond books were written after his marriage. The first Bond adventure, Casino Royale, appeared in 1953, and it was followed 13 others. Casino Royal was partly based on Fleming's less fortunate gambling experience in Lisbon during the war. The work set up what became the basic structure for most of the Bond books. Bond travels to some colorful place where he meets one or two beautiful women who have secrets in their past. Sometimes Bond is captured by his enemies but always he destroys the villain with delusions of grandeur, saves the world, and gets the good girl.
About Fleming's Legacy-Written by Scott Powell
In the the beginning of the James Bond legacy, Ian Fleming gave us a character which
we all could relate to. Contrary to what is in many of the films, Fleming created Bond
to be a normal kind of person with suave and cool instincts. His job just happens to bring danger and suspense; not a hero from another world as most of the later movies would
have you believe. The Fleming world similar in many ways to the film Bond,
but such actors like Connery, Moore, and Brosnan can never quite depict Bond the way
Fleming does in his novels. The books are in a class of their own and should be considered so.
Because they are, for the most part, different it is hard to compare the highly successful films to the novels. The stories Fleming wrote were, in a sense, a getaway from the ordinary. People enjoy reading about action, suspense, and such elements; these things intrigue and move a person. Fleming was great at this, and his stories often related to real life circumstances that could actually happen. In the modern world, Fleming's style of books have become, in a sense, the ordinary. In order to survive, the filmmakers had to modernize the character to keep up with the changing world.
The filmmakers deserve credit for this modernization. They did it in a way that preserved the image of James Bond. They have given the world some of the most enjoyable films of all time while, most importantly, keeping Fleming's Bond alive. This is achieved by including the same elements in the films that were present in his books: action, suspense, enjoyable plots, and beautiful women. Hopefully the producers will keep up this great work for many years to come.