It is now over fifty 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.
Pearson, who worked with Fleming at the Sunday Times, based this biography on his own memories of Fleming, on Fleming's private papers, and on a series of interviews with an extraordinary collection of Fleming's contemporaries – family, friends, enemies, teachers, colleagues, mistresses, and former spies from around the world.
First published in 1966, John Pearson's famous 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.
In his new introduction to this edition, Pearson examines the extent to which Fleming's character informs the movie portrayals of Bond, from Sean Connery through to Daniel Craig, and how Bond himself has achieved immortality beyond Fleming's wildest dreams.
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About the Author
John Pearson was born in 1930, and educated at King's College School, Wimbledon and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read history.
He has worked on various newspapers, including the Economist, The Times, and The Sunday Times where for a time he wrote the Atticus column.
After the success of his Life of Ian Fleming, he decamped with wife and family to Rome, where he lived for some years. Mr Pearson returned to England to research and write the life and times of the Kray brothers in The Profession of Violence and has since written many more successful works of both fiction and non-fiction. Biographies remain his specialty with accomplished studies of the Sitwells, Winston Churchill and the Royal Family following his earlier successes.