About Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming - Creator of the legendary James Bond Films
Jamaica has always been known as the stomping ground for the rich and famous. One reason could be that no matter how famous you are, it is unlikely that you will be mobbed by fans as you go about your private business. This may be one of the reasons Ian Fleming called it home.
Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, was much like his fictional character. The debonair Fleming was a spy, a lady's man, who preferred his martini shaken, not stirred. Part of the British aristocracy, he was a journalist, banker and a military man who finally wrote his first novel at the age of 43. Over the next decade, he wrote 13 James Bond novels and the children's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Once translated to the silver screen, James Bond launched the world's longest running series of spy movies.
Fleming was born in Mayfair, London, to Valentine Fleming, an MP, and his wife, Evelyn St. Croix Fleming. Ian was the younger brother of travel writer, Peter Fleming, and the older brother of Michael and Richard Fleming. He also had a half-sister, the cellist Amaryllis Fleming. He was educated at Eton before going on to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. After an early departure from the prestigious officer training school, he opted to study languages at a private school in Austria.
Following an unsuccessful application to join the Foreign Office, Fleming worked as a sub-editor and journalist for the Reuters news agency, and then as a stockbroker in the City of London. On the eve of World War II, Fleming was recruited into naval 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 was put in charge of a special commando unit. During the last year of the war Fleming visited Jamaica on military business and decided that he would work to make this tropical paradise his home. He set about making this goal happen and did it with style.
He designed and built a home in Boscobel, Jamaica he called GOLDENEYE. For the next two decades JAMAICA was his adopted home and cradle of some of his best literary work.
It was in JAMAICA that Fleming wrote more than a dozen novels and short stories featuring Agent 007. Of these best-selling volumes of action pulp, "Dr. No," "Live and Let Die," "The Man With the Golden Gun" and the short story "Octopussy" are largely or partly set in Jamaica, and the films based on the first two were also shot here. The island was Fleming's retreat, artist colony and passion. He repeatedly sent Bond, an incarnation of Walter Mitty-esque wish fulfillment, on assignment here. The legendary spy experienced the island as Fleming did — beautiful and unspoilt with enough exoticism, history and potential for danger to justify it as a backdrop for post war espionage adventure.
The book, Fleming's JAMAICA, is a Venn diagram of three overlapping spheres: the author's actual Jamaica of the 1950s and early '60s (when the island was a British colony rapidly becoming a hot spot for the rich and famous); the semi-fictional JAMAICA as seen through James Bond; and Jamaica as a location for the 007 film franchise.
Ian Fleming was an uncompromising man of character and successfully lived the life most people only dream about. He wrote the books he wanted to read , travelled the world with style and aplomb and in the words of Frank Sinatra " He did it his way". His full life came to an end when at 56 he died from complications due to heart disease.
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Ian Fleming International Airport
Boscobel, St. Mary
Jamaica, West Indies
Tel: (876) 975-3101 / 975 3734
Fax: (876) 726-4973