‘Read and burn’ James Bond book up for auction
THEY provide a window into the world of two of the 20th century’s most famous personalities, and a friendship that would go on to help inspire the creation of James Bond.
Author Ian Fleming’s books about the world-famous spy, inscribed with messages for his closest friend Noel Coward, are set to go up for auction.
The first edition stories, including Live and Let Die, have messages from the author to the playwright and composer, who had first encouraged him to begin writing.
Among the other books are
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Thunderball, while The Spy Who Loved Me, the most sexually explicit of the Bond novels, is also up for sale with the inscription, “To Noel, read and burn!, from Ian”.
The Noel Coward Foundation is selling the books at the auction house Christie’s on Wednesday.
Christie’s associate specialist for books and manuscripts, Mark Wiltshire, said: “Each volume is inscribed by Fleming with a personal message to Coward, often playful but also filled with respect and gratitude for his encouragement in the early days of Fleming’s career as a novelist.”
The Bond books, with some expected to fetch up to £20,000, were written at Fleming’s estate on the Jamaican coast, where Coward was a neighbour and his closest friend.