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Ian Fleming : The Complete Man - Nicholas Shakespeare

Ian Fleming

The Complete Man

By: Nicholas Shakespeare

Paperback | 3 October 2023

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A fresh portrait of the man behind James Bond, and his enduring impact, by an award-winning biographer with unprecedented access to the Fleming Archive.

A fresh portrait of the man behind James Bond, and his enduring impact, by an award-winning biographer with unprecedented access to the Fleming Archive.

Ian Fleming's greatest creation, James Bond, has had an enormous and ongoing impact on our culture. What Bond represents about ideas of masculinity, the British national psyche and global politics has shifted over time, as has the interpretation of the life of his author. But Fleming himself was more mysterious and subtle than anything he wrote.

Ian's childhood with his gifted brother Peter and his extraordinary mother set the pattern for his ambition to be 'the complete man', and he would strive for the means to achieve this 'completeness' all his life. Only a writer for his last twelve years, his dramatic personal life and impressive career in Naval Intelligence put him at the heart of critical moments in world history, while also providing rich inspiration for his fiction. Exceptionally well connected, and widely travelled, from the United States and Soviet Russia to his beloved Jamaica, Ian had access to the most powerful political figures at a time of profound change.

Nicholas Shakespeare is one of the most gifted biographers working today. His talent for uncovering material that casts new light on his subjects is fully evident in this masterful, definitive biography. His unprecedented access to the Fleming archives and his nose for a story make this a fresh and eye-opening picture of a man who lived his life in the shadow of his famous creation.

About the Author

Nicholas Shakespeare was born in 1957. The son of a diplomat, much of his youth was spent in the Far East and South America. His books have been translated into twenty-two languages. They include The Vision of Elena Silves (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award), Snowleg, The Dancer Upstairs, Inheritance, Priscilla and Six Minutes in May. He has been longlisted for the Booker Prize twice, was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Industry Reviews
A magnificent work of empathy and detection -- Colin Thubron * Sunday Times, on Bruce Chatwin *

This is a marvellous book about Ian Fleming, but it's also one of the most engaging portraits of a particular period of British history that I have read in a long time -- Antonia Fraser

Quite simply, one of the most beautifully written, painstakingly researched and cleverly constructed biographies of this decade * Literary Review, on Bruce Chatwin *

A fascinating account of the man behind the myth -- Ian Thomson * Guardian on Bruce Chatwin *

An epic piece of work of immense satisfaction... Awe-inspiring * The Times, on Bruce Chatwin *

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