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Second Robert Markham Book?


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#1 Triton

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 03:43 AM

I seem to remember reading ages ago that Kingsley Amis wrote a second James Bond novel but for some reason it was rejected by Glidrose. "James Bond never liked Acapulco." was supposed to be the first sentence and a train trip featured in the story. Can anyone provide me with anymore details about the plot of the book and what really happened to the story? Did it never get beyond the outline stage?

#2 clinkeroo

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 03:48 AM

I remember reading that Amos proposed an idea to Glidrose about Bond's younger days in the Royal Navy after he wrote CS, but that Anne and Glidrose shot him down. Pity.

#3 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 04:04 AM

Originally posted by clinkeroo
I remember reading that Amos proposed an idea to Glidrose about Bond's younger days in the Royal Navy after he wrote CS, but that Anne and Glidrose shot him down.  Pity.

A "James Bond" novel rather than a "James Bond 007" novel? I'm glad that never took off.

Wasn't Amis thinking of a plot similar to that Geoffrey Jenkins coincidently came up with later on, about South Africa and diamonds, etc in Per Fine Ounce?


#4 jwheels

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 04:10 AM

I also read where Amis wanted to do a Bond book suring his Navy days.

I would have liked to see a pre-spy Bond adventure, or even a book about how he got his 00 status. Though it was mentioned in You Only Live Twice (I think), I would like to see that.

P.S. Triton, It's nice to see someone else from Washington is a Bond fan, I was beginning to think I was the only one.

#5 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 04:16 AM

Originally posted by jwheels57
P.S. Triton, It's nice to see someone else from Washington is a Bond fan, I was beginning to think I was the only one.

If I remember my geography correctly Washington state is on the opposite side of the country to Washington the capital city. I've never being quite able to figure that out.

There's New York, New York so why not Washington, Washington?
:)

#6 Triton

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 04:18 AM

Does anyone know any more information about Per Fine Ounce except what is written on 007Forever.com:

Per Fine Ounce

From this description, it doesn't look like Kingsley Amis was even involved with this story.

#7 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 04:32 AM

Originally posted by Triton
From this description, it doesn't look like Kingsley Amis was even involved with this story.

Sorry Triton, it was only a vague recollection on my part that appears now to be wrong. I wasn't saying it was gospel. :)

In any case, Amis must have felt his part in the literary Bond history wasn't worth talking about as his 1990 memoir mentions nothing about it at all.


#8 Triton

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 05:21 AM

Originally posted by jwheels57  
P.S. Triton, It's nice to see someone else from Washington is a Bond fan, I was beginning to think I was the only one.  


I actually live north of you in the beautiful Skagit Valley north of Conway and south of Mount Vernon. I thought that 99.999% of the posters on the forum wouldn't know where Mt. Vernon, WA was, so I used Seattle, WA in my profile. I live about 65 miles north of Seattle.

You are correct Blofeld's Cat, Washington state is on the opposite side of the United States in a region known as the Pacific Northwest. We have the province of British Columbia to the north,the state of Oregon to the south, and the state of Idaho to the east. The is no Washington. Washington but there is a Walla Walla, Washington, as mentioned in the Bugs Bunny cartoons, a couple hundred mile to the southeast of where I live. I have never been there. The Washington state prison is located there.

The city of Mount Vernon, which is close to my home, is on the opposite side of the United States to George Washington's plantation of Mount Vernon in Virginia and it is no where near a mountain named Vernon.

The region that me and jwheels57 live is the western side of the Cascade mountains which has a constantly drizzling temperate marine climate.

Also an FYI, most television shows and movies that say they happen in Seattle or in the state of Washington, like the Get Carter remake, The Sixth Day, and the Highlander television series, are actually filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. 9 times out of 10, if Seattle and environs is supposed to be the location of the story, it's in reality British Columbia. :)

#9 KHergerscheimer

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 08:40 AM

From my recollection he did have a second story planned. The location was going to be Honduras, which I think at the time might have been British. I don't think anything was ever written, just some initial ideas shared with Glidrose. I believe Anne Fleming didn't like Amis' left-leaning politics (which do come through in Colonel Sun) so nixed it.

#10 Mister Asterix

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 01:16 PM

There is a nice article over at 007forever about Amis’ proposed second novel.

#11 mccartney007

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 01:46 PM

I hate to say that an article on my website is incorrect in claiming Amis was planning another Bond novel, but I'm going to. Kingsley Amis occaisionally jotted down notes and things, but according to Amis himself when specifically asked if he had ever planned a second Bond novel said he had NEVER planned a second Bond novel.

#12 Loomis

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 02:31 PM

Originally posted by clinkeroo

I remember reading that Amos proposed an idea to Glidrose about Bond's younger days in the Royal Navy after he wrote CS, but that Anne and Glidrose shot him down.  Pity.  


This may seem a very strange statement (and I'm not quite sure what I'm basing it on), but here goes, I'll make it anyway: I reckon Amis might have written a much better "young Bond" book than Fleming (not that Fleming was planning to write one). In fact, I don't believe Fleming would have done a very good job of writing such a book. I get the feeling that he wouldn't have been able to see the wood for the trees when writing about the early years of his own creation, and that his prose was too fantastical, his style too wild and woolly, to deal with James Bond before he became James Bond.

It's such a great pity that Amis wrote only one Bond novel.:)

#13 Triton

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 03:57 PM

Originally posted by Mister Asterix
There is a nice article over at 007forever about Amis’ proposed second novel.


I'm familiar with the article you attached in your post, and it's actually the source of my question. The issue I have with this article is that the author of the site says the source of the information was the "New York Times", but no date or article title is referenced. So there is a concern on my part that the information may be rumor and the "from the New York Times" text was added to give the information more credibility.

I'm new to the literary side of James Bond and I haven't been able to find dusty copies of the John Pearson books or the Kingsley Amis biography in second-hand book shops. ( I just recently acquired a copy of Colonel Sun from May 1969 in very good condition for $.38, that's right less than fifty cents. I didn't need to think long about that purchase for very long!) So unfortantely, I need to pose my question to others who have actually read the biographies and the non-fiction books that I have heard about but I have never seen.

Sometimes false information has been repeated so many times, by fans or in print, that they seem like truth. For example, the story that Eon Productions stands for "Everything or Nothing". Michael G. Wilson has stated that the name is from the word Eon and the story that it is an acronym for Everything or Nothing is false.

#14 Mister Asterix

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 04:14 PM

Of course, whether Amis planned a second novel or not doesn’t mean that a second Robert Markham novel was not planned. Robert Markham was originally intended to be the nom de plume of any author that wrote an official Bond novel. So it is possible that Glidrose had another author (or other authors) planning the follow up to Colonel Sun.

Wouldn’t that be an interesting find.


#15 Triton

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 04:30 PM

Originally posted by Mister Asterix
Of course, whether Amis planned a second novel or not doesn’t mean that a second Robert Markham novel was not planned. Robert Markham was originally intended to be the nom de plume of any author that wrote an official Bond novel. So it is possible that Glidrose had another author (or other authors) planning the follow up to Colonel Sun.

Wouldn’t that be an interesting find.


It certainly would be an interesting find. Unfortunately, most of the people who would have knowledge of such a book or books have since passed away. Jenkins' Per Fine Ounce could have been the second Robert Markham book if Glidrose hadn't rejected the manuscript.

I wonder what story material is over at Ian Fleming Publications locked away in a fire-proof box or safe. I also wonder if they possess Ian Fleming's story idea notebooks.

#16 Killmaster

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 04:32 PM

I can't remember the exact title (I believe it may have been "James Bond: An Unauthorized Biography"), but there was a book written by John Pearson in the late 70's or early 80's which did cover Bond's early years.

The way I remember, Bond had retired to Jamaica and was either engaged or married to Honey Ryder. A writer was enlisted to tell his story. For all intents and purposes, the writer and the rest of the world had thought Bond was merely a literary character created by Ian Fleming, but in actual fact he was a real secret agent employed by the British Secret Service who was "turned" into a novelized super-spy as part of an disinformation operation to protect him from SMERSH following the Casino Royale affair. The writer interviewed Bond and covered various parts of his missing years including his time at school and how he got his "00" ranking.

Anyone else remember this??

#17 Mister Asterix

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 05:55 PM

Originally posted by Killmaster
I can't remember the exact title (I believe it may have been "James Bond: An Unauthorized Biography"), but there was a book written by John Pearson in the late 70's or early 80's which did cover Bond's early years.

The way I remember, Bond had retired to Jamaica and was either engaged or married to Honey Ryder.  A writer was enlisted to tell his story.  For all intents and purposes, the writer and the rest of the world had thought Bond was merely a literary character created by Ian Fleming, but in actual fact he was a real secret agent employed by the British Secret Service who was "turned" into a novelized super-spy as part of an disinformation operation to protect him from SMERSH following the Casino Royale affair. The writer interviewed Bond and covered various parts of his missing years including his time at school and how he got his "00" ranking.  

Anyone else remember this??


I just read it a couple of months ago. (It was a relatively easy find on eBay.) It’s a fun read, but there are too many times Pearson says ‘Fleming got it wrong’ for my liking. Worth a read and a few grains of salt.

#18 Hawkeye

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 10:12 PM

I wonder if there is a copy of the manuscript for PER FINE OUNCE floating around somewhere. Perhaps Geoffrey Jenkins' family have a copy of the original manuscript in storage. Woundn't that be a scoop for the Fan Fiction section on CBn. Perhaps someone in the know should try and track down his rermaining relatives...

Hawkeye.

#19 Qwerty

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 02:01 AM

Ha Ha, the search for 'Per Fine Ounce' will NEVER stop, although I shouldn't talk, I've been searching too. If only I could get my hands on a manuscript of it. (If one even exists.)

#20 Triton

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 02:57 AM

Originally posted by Qwerty
Ha Ha, the search for 'Per Fine Ounce' will NEVER stop, although I shouldn't talk, I've been searching too. If only I could get my hands on a manuscript of it. (If one even exists.)


Perhaps some of the bolder fan fiction authors out there might want to take a stab at writing Per Fine Ounce based on the plot details that have been revealed on 007Forever.com and other sources.

#21 Qwerty

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 03:12 AM

Triton, I like that idea. C'mon all CBn wirters, who's up for the challenge?

#22 Hawkeye

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 01:35 PM

Sounds like a canny idea. Maybe JIM could give it a go after JAK is finished, unless he's got another original bond idea up his sleeve. I've read chapter 1 of JAK (as much as i said i'd wait for the whole book) and i'd hate to think JAK would be JIM's only bond contribution.

Hawkeye.

#23 zencat

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 06:39 PM

Hank Reineke's excellent article on Colonel Sun in 'OO7' #47 has information on this proposed second novel (with sources noted). In several interviews Amis said he looked forward to writing a second Bond novel and was inspired by a recent trip to Mexico. He thought Mexico would make a terrific Bond location and the novel would begin "Bond had never cared for Acapulco." It would feature an assassination on a train (which he has "plotted" while taking a train from St. Louis) and would involve tensions between British Honduras and Guatemala over rival claims to Mexico.

Too bad it never got past the idea stage.

Reineke also reveals that the working title for Colonel Sun was Dragon Island.

#24 Loomis

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 06:59 PM

Too bad it never got past the idea stage.

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You can say that again.

#25 zencat

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 07:19 PM

Too bad it never got past the idea stage.

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You can say that again.

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Clearly Ann Fleming gave them such grief I sure they decided to hold off on the continuation novels. What I get from the 'OO7' article is that Ann's real problem with Colonel Sun had nothing to do with the book, but instead had everything to do with what she saw as the "leftist" politics of Amis. Her letters really reveal her to be some piece of work.

#26 Loomis

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 08:02 PM

Too bad it never got past the idea stage.

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You can say that again.

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Clearly Ann Fleming gave them such grief I sure they decided to hold off on the continuation novels. What I get from the 'OO7' article is that Ann's real problem with Colonel Sun had nothing to do with the book, but instead had everything to do with what she saw as the "leftist" politics of Amis. Her letters really reveal her to be some piece of work.

View Post


Ann Fleming gets a brief mention in "Lost Japan" by Alex Kerr, a book that should - must - be read by anyone with the slightest interest in Japan (or indeed the Far East), and comes across as a lovable eccentric, as a member of a group of "free spirits" "whose whole lives were devoted to art and culture, but for whom nothing was too exalted to question or laugh at". Of course, Kerr doesn't touch on "Colonel Sun" or anything like that, but his book was probably my first encounter (so to speak) with Ann Fleming, and I assumed she was delightful. Having read quite a bit of Kerr, I assume his own politics to be "left", but then again I believe some have branded him an elitist and a snob (who wants Japan, which he sees as a country ruining itself through rampant construction and misguided "development", to be a sort of living museum of traditional arts and culture, catering to his own romantic fantasies).

#27 Mercator

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 01:57 PM

I think Amis was the perfect James Bond continuation author.

Colonel Sun was an underrated masterpiece and there was certainly no other author out there att the time who could have taken on the big mission of creating James Bond adventures.

I would have loved to see a second Amis Bond adventure.

#28 syme

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 12:29 PM

I believe Anne Fleming didn't like Amis' left-leaning politics (which do come through in Colonel Sun) so nixed it.
[/quote]


This seems on the whole unlikely, as Kingsley Amis was had largely completed his move to the right by the time he had written Colonel Sun.

Syme - gunblast man

#29 spynovelfan

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 12:35 PM

[quote name='syme' date='14 February 2006 - 12:29' post='517620']
I believe Anne Fleming didn't like Amis' left-leaning politics (which do come through in Colonel Sun) so nixed it.
[/quote]

This seems on the whole unlikely, as Kingsley Amis was had largely completed his move to the right by the time he had written Colonel Sun.
[/quote]

Welcome to CBN. :tup:

This has been discussed elsewhere. Amis had indeed moved to the right, but Anne Fleming didn't necessarily know that, or trust it, I suppose. Considering that Bond works with a Soviet agent and is offered the Order of Lenin at the end of COLONEL SUN, it is a debatable point.

I'm coming round to CS. :D

#30 doublenoughtspy

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 03:25 PM

my first encounter (so to speak) with Ann Fleming, and I assumed she was delightful.


Delightful is not a word I would use to characterize that woman.




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