Coincidence, or what??
I had been sat at my desk, putting together a suitable blog to recognize the fact that the 12th August 2010, would have been the anniversary of Ian Fleming’s death. I decided to take a break and went out into the gym, switched on the television, and guess what was playing on ITV1? Roger Moore, as James Bond, in “Live And Let Die”
It’s not like I haven’t seen it several times before, as my other half is a Bond addict, but I just had to see it through ’til the end, because of the sheer irony of it all.
It wasn’t until I actually started researching Ian Fleming, that I realised that he is buried, together with his wife and son, at Sevenhampton, near my home town of Swindon in Wiltshire. Talk about not knowing what goes on, on your own doorstep.
Nor had I even given a thought to the fact that, as well as celebrating James Bond 007, in 12 full length novels and 9 short stories, Ian had also written the everlastingly popular children’s classic, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.
All of his most popular work was completed in a 12 year period and after his premature death from heart disease in 1956, his literary executors decided, that from time to time, they would commission other authors, to continue the Bond storyline. These have notably been:- Kingsley Amis (AKA Robert Markham), John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, and the most recently commissioned but not yet completed novel by Jeffery Deaver.
Ian Fleming, was basically a very troubled person, but in compensating for all that he perceived to be lacking in his life, he actually led, “an uncompromising life in a world full of compromises “.
Born into the aristocracy in 1908, he led a privileged life; but always lived in the shadow of his late father’s reputation and his elder brother’s inherited wealth. This was made even more acute, when his grandfather subsequently died, disinheriting Ian, whose lifestyle was already in a downwards spiral of self destruction.
Ian only really began to feel he was leading a life of some value, when during the Second World war, he was recruited by The Foreign Office and later by Naval Intelligence, as a spy.
He did not marry until he was 44 and it was then only 12 short years until his death, which was precipitated by his life-long penchant for cigarettes, alcohol and rich food.
He summed up his own life and demise in a very succinct and chillingly cynical way:-
“I have always smoked and drunk and loved too much. In fact I have lived not too long but too much. One day the Iron Crab will get me. Then I shall have died of living too much”.
Ian Fleming will always be best remembered for his character of Commander James Bond 007 – ‘Licenced To Kill’.
As I said, we have watched all the films over and over again and will probably continue to do so, and I’m trying to decide who my favourite Bond actor is:-
Roger Moore will always be near the top of the pile, because of that wonderful timbre to his voice and the beautiful ‘cut glass’ English accent.
Sean Connery of course for being the sauve, debonnaire, lady-killer.
But my own personal favourite has to be Pierce Brosnan. He has all the qualities of Moore and Connery, rolled into one, with the looks and sex appeal thrown in for good measure. Oh and by the way, he is quite a good actor as well!!!!