London: Jonathan Cape, 1956.
London: Jonathan Cape, .
First edition of the fourth James Bond book. Inscribed by Ian Fleming on the front endpaper to Sir William Stephenson, who was known as the "Real James Bond." Small octavo (7 3/8 x 4 7/8 inches; 187 x 125 mm).. , 11-257, [1, blank] pp. In original dust jacket.
Original black cloth over boards. Front cover stamped in blind with an overall diamond pattern with a baguette-cut diamond stamped in silver in the center. Spine lettered in silver with Jonathan Cape logo in silver at foot. Top front corner slightly bumped and binding just barely skewed. A very fine copy, difficult to find in this condition. In the original color pictorial dust jacket. Jacket with some minor splitting along creases and chipping at head and tail of the spine, but with no restoration. Some general sunning, bit overall a very nice jacket. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell.
Inscribed on front free endpaper: "To Bill/In exchange for/ 12 cherrystones/ With affection/ From/ Ian."
A wonderful book with an exceptional provenance. Inscribed by Fleming to his good friend Sir William Stephenson, aka “Bill.”
We acquired this copy from the grandson of famous auto maker. E.L. Cord. Cord, Fleming and Stephenson were all close friends and Cord and Stephenson owned an airplane factory together producing spitfires. Cord acquired Bill’s collection of Fleming books and his grandson eventually took ownership. Butterfields and Butterfields sold three other Fleming books inscribed to “Bill” acquired from the same source at their 4/16/1997 sale. The inscription is also of note as Fleming writes "To Bill/In exchange for/ 12 cherrystones/ With affection/ From/ Ian." and in chapter 16 this book, Fleming writes “Twenty minutes after he had sat down, Bond was able to order a dozen cherrystone clams and a steak, and, since he expected a further long pause, a second Vodka dry Martini.”
Our inscription recipient Sir William “Bill” Stephenson is of utmost interest as he is considered the basis of the character of James Bond.
Sir William “Bill” Stephenson, was a “Canadian soldier, airman, businessman, inventor, spymaster, and the senior representative of British Security Coordination (BSC) for the entire western hemisphere during World War II. He is best known by his wartime intelligence codename Intrepid. Many people consider him to be one of the real-life inspirations for James Bond. Ian Fleming himself who once worked under Stephenson, once wrote, ‘James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is ... William Stephenson.’... As head of the British Security Coordination, Stephenson handed over British scientific secrets to Franklin D. Roosevelt and relayed American secrets to Winston Churchill. In addition, Stephenson has been credited with changing American public opinion from an isolationist stance to a supportive tendency regarding America's entry into World War II... Stephenson was soon a close adviser to Roosevelt, and suggested that he put Stephenson's good friend William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan in charge of all U.S. intelligence services. Donovan founded the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which in 1947 would become the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As senior representative of British intelligence in the western hemisphere, Stephenson was one of the few persons in the hemisphere who were authorized to view raw Ultra transcripts of German Enigma ciphers that had been decrypted at Britain's Bletchley Park facility. He was trusted by Churchill to decide what Ultra information to pass along to various branches of the U.S. and Canadian governments... Not least of Stephenson's contributions to the war effort was the setting up by BSC of Camp X, the unofficial name of the secret Special Training School No. 103, a Second World War paramilitary installation for training covert agents in the methods required for success in clandestine operations. Camp X graduates operated in Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Balkans) as well as in Africa, Australia, India and the Pacific. They may have included Ian Fleming (though there is evidence to the contrary), future author of the James Bond books. It has been said that the fictional Goldfinger's raid on Fort Knox was inspired by a Stephenson plan (never carried out) to steal $2,883,000,000 in Vichy French gold reserves from the French Caribbean colony of Martinique... For his extraordinary service to the war effort, he was made a Knight Bachelor by King George VI in the 1945 New Year Honours. In recommending Stephenson for the knighthood, Winston Churchill wrote: ‘This one is dear to my heart.’ In November 1946 Stephenson received the Medal for Merit from President Harry S. Truman, at that time the highest U.S. civilian award. He was the first non-American to be so honoured.” (Wikipedia)
“Camp X was the unofficial name of the secret Special Training School No. 103, a Second World War British paramilitary installation for training covert agents in the methods required for success in clandestine operations. It was located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario between Whitby and Oshawa in Ontario, Canada. The area is known today as Intrepid Park, after the code name for Sir William Stephenson, Director of British Security Co-ordination (BSC), who established the program to create the training facility.” (Wikipedia)
Accompanying the book is a letter from the individual we acquired the book from, the grandson E.L. Cord stating who he is and that he is selling the book. Included also is a family tree showing the seller as E.L. Cord's grandson.
Biondi and Pickard, pp. 42-43. Campbell A4007A1.