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'The Moneypenny Diaries'


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#61 zencat

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 04:10 PM

It seems as if this title will also be released in paperback the same time that the hardcover is being released. 
http://www.amazon.co...4896126-2974205

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Yep, there's a listing. Same goes for James Bond The Man And His World. However, after being burned on the SilverFin paperback in the US (Amazon showed, and still shows, a US paperback release on the same day as the hardcover -- yet the book does not exist), I'm going to be a little wary of these same day paperback listings on Amazon.

#62 Loomis

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 05:06 PM

Oh my God.

Let me get this straight - IFP commission books that circle around James Bond but are not actually James Bond. Perhaps this is as much a signal as anything that they've given up on continuing adult Bond. Perhaps it's too soon to leap to that conclusion but this is a bit... odd.

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Agreed. Still, better than a slap in the face with a wet kipper, one supposes (hopes).

I also agree with K1Bond007 that "Moneypenny wasn't really a Fleming thing". clinkeroo is correct in saying that "Moneypenny, thanks to the films, does have the name recognition", but then MovieMoneypenny underwent a massive transformation a few years ago and is scarely the same character that's been garnering all that name recognition for decades.

Tara Brabazon, author of "The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader", opines that the Brosnan-era Penny is "an active, intellgent and demanding woman, claiming her rights and reminding Bond that he is accountable for his actions". Brabazon slams the pre-GOLDENEYE MovieMoneypenny as "a camp figure, an aged aunt, rather than sexualised partner to Bond", and a "doting, embarrassing, spinster". (See the thread "Moneypenny, All her fault?".)

So has the heroine of "The Moneypenny Diaries" been created with Samantha Bond in mind? Presumably, the book is aimed at an older readership than that of "SilverFin", but unless it's supposed to appeal chiefly to the middle-aged (and I'm sure it isn't) it seems unlikely that Westbrook will have ignored Bond's "modern" Moneypenny, being as how the character must have a great deal of "recognition factor" thanks to GOLDENEYE - DIE ANOTHER DAY. Will we get the sort of Bridget-Jones-does-a-bit-of-spying affair conjured up amusingly by Jim? Bought new bottle of scotch for M. V. pleased. Silly old bag. Sent 113 expendable agents to their deaths by mistake. Tried to delete Microsoft bloody paperclip office help thing, appeared to have nuked Zurich. V. naughty! Fantasised about JB then cried self to sleep. V. good. At 10 a.m.

#63 Melanie

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 05:52 PM

I am going to import the hardcover versions of TMD and 'The Man And His World'.
The higher price tag is ok, because I can't stand paperbacks, the mass market paper quality and opening with strain on the spine.

Do you think TMD will appeal to female readers, who are no fans of the Bond franchise ?

#64 spynovelfan

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 05:57 PM

'From her colonial childhood in Kenya to her death in 1990, Jane Moneypenny led an extraordinary, clandestine life. Positioned at the heart of British intelligence she had a ringside seat at the political intrigues that shaped world history. But, contrary to popular belief, she was not simply a bystander while James Bond saw all the action. As her diaries make startlingly clear, Miss Moneypenny played a central role in the build-up to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the threat of all-out nuclear war.'

I think this has to be mainly Maxwell's Moneypenny, judging from those dates. Maxwell herself was 35 in DR NO, 58 at the end of her run in A VIEW TO A KILL. She was 63 in 1990. This suggests that the book Moneypenny will be even older than Maxwell's - as it's a self-contained biography (in three volumes) with real events featured, I can't imagine Westbrook can attempt to make her one woman staying at the same age for a very long time - the fact that she dies in 1990 suggests this will have one fixed chronology. I guess there will be some vagueness about ages and dates, but it sounds very much like a period piece. The Cuban Missile Crisis was in the same year as the first Bond film was released - I imagine it won't be at the same time as 'Bond's first mission', though. So we'll probably see some of her childhood, how the colonialism influenced her, coming to England, secretary school, recruitment into Six, meeting Bond, and then Cuban Missile Crisis - a ll by 1962, when Connery became Bond. The colonial thing and the fact it's period intrigues me - the idea that she played 'a central role' in the Cuban Missile Crisis sounds a bit daft, though. I'd have rather seen a more suitable character for a spin-off that featured them as active players in espionage - M's early years, for instance.

#65 Athena007

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 07:39 PM

Let me get this straight - IFP commission books that circle around James Bond but are not actually James Bond. Perhaps this is as much a signal as anything that they've given up on continuing adult Bond. Perhaps it's too soon to leap to that conclusion but this is a bit... odd.

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Ya, I don't think IFP would give up adult Bond books that easily. It just looks like they're in a patch of "trying something new" with Young Bond and The Moneypenny Diaries... who knows what's next... Q's Queue?

#66 K1Bond007

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 09:14 PM

Did you read the article K1?! Given your post I sincerely doubt that you did.

The article was written by a Judge for a legal journal and it is judges who interpret the law and that's how cases get overturned etc.

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Yes I did as a matter of fact. While copyright does not specifically cover characters it does prohibit others from creating derivative works which mimic or even copy characters from copyrighted material. That is to say that no one can technically create a copy of thee James Bond, that doesn't mean someone can't create another work and have a guy named James Bond in it; however, if that Bond goes around saying "Bond, James Bond" and sipping on vodka martini's or anything else that reflects thee one and only James Bond, then the author or whomever is in violation. This is all beside the point actually since "James Bond" is technically trademarked, as are most major characters such as Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and perhaps notable characters (organizations) such as Miss Moneypenny, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and SPECTRE from books and film.

#67 zencat

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 04:19 PM

This post was made over at AJB. Thought it made an interesting addition to this discussion.

Quoting: jetsetwilly
Unfortunately I have lost the original article: but a recent Private Eye article suggests that the Moneypenny novel is under serious investigation by the Fleming Estate. It would appear that this is not a licensed publication, and therefore the lawyers are being called into action.

It would also explain why IFP was so surprised by it!


#68 Gri007

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 05:16 PM

I've got mixed feelings about this. If it's based on Flemings/EON's Moneypenney then it would be good. But I just can't help thinking if its going to be like John Pearsons Authorised Biography of James Bond.

#69 Qwerty

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 07:35 PM

I've got mixed feelings about this.  If it's based on Flemings/EON's Moneypenney then it would be good.  But I just can't help thinking if its going to be like John Pearsons Authorised Biography of James Bond.

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But that is an official Bond book none-the-less.

#70 TortillaFactory

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 03:57 AM

But that is an official Bond book none-the-less.


Granted; however, all throughout I couldn't help but feel that Pearson just took the character and ran with it. (I'm halfway through SilverFin right now, and feeling much the same way.) Doesn't mean it's not fun to see someone's interpretation, I just never really felt like I was reading about Fleming's Bond.

#71 K1Bond007

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 04:48 AM

Posted Image
'The Moneypenny Diaries' Cleared for Release
IFP greenlights John Murray's Moneypenny trilogy



It's "authorised" - after detailed negotiations. It wasn't initially. I tried to tell Zencat that there was going to be an announcement in The Sunday Times on Aug 28 (I was unsure if the source was legit), but it turned out to be correct.

Note to Zencat: So I guess my original message was correct and the second one was wrong. I failed to see there were two pages. See below.

http://www.timesonli...1753997,00.html

[quote]BRITAIN

Edited by [dark], 28 August 2005 - 07:46 AM.


#72 Qwerty

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 04:54 AM

Thanks for the note on this K1!

#73 TortillaFactory

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 05:02 AM

So glad to hear this'll go through. I'm anxious to read it.

#74 Qwerty

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 05:03 AM

Me too! Lots of Bond books coming in the future now! :)

#75 David Schofield

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 08:09 AM

Looking forward to it, of course, but suspect we'll be in something more like Pearson-land than Fleming's world. I hope we don't get too much that demeaning Fleming - "there were affairs even Mr Fleming was not allowed to write about due to their secrecy stuff" - and that ultimately takes the credit away from Fleming for creating everything about James Bond because "James Bond was a real person"!!! (Well, yes, sort of - Ian Fleming).

Oh, and for the sake of pedantry a couple of observations:

1. Moneypenny died in 1990: doesn't this contradict Benson and Gardner?
2. Moneypenny "fought" the Cuban Missile crisis: James Bond at that time was in Japan. Moneypenny commenting on it, OK: playing a major role? She's a secretary, for heaven's sake. Bond not really in Japan, now that might be interesting ... BUT would contradict Fleming!

#76 spynovelfan

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 06:26 PM

I don't get it. How could IFP have been dealing with John Murrary about Henry Chancellor's book - it's all over the IFP site, so that is official - but JM thought they'd go behind their backs on this? Doesn't make sense to me. An elaborate Nat Tate style hoax by Murray *and* IFP that backfired or something? It's very strange indeed.

#77 Brisco

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 09:41 PM

I don't get it. How could IFP have been dealing with John Murrary about Henry Chancellor's book - it's all over the IFP site, so that is official - but JM thought they'd go behind their backs on this? Doesn't make sense to me. An elaborate Nat Tate style hoax by Murray *and* IFP that backfired or something? It's very strange indeed.

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I suspect so. Although not one that backfired; it seems to me that the hoax has worked just as it was supposed to in terms of drumming up publicity for the book in the Sunday Times! I never doubted that this was a fully sanctioned IFP project. It's the same publisher they're using for their other book! That's no coincidence, and a publisher wouldn't dare tread on the copyright of a company it was already doing business with.

Furthermore, the whole thing fits the profile of the new IFP projects: Take a popular publishing phenomenon and mold it to 007. As "Young Bond" was to Harry Potter, so is "Moneypenny Diaries" to Bridget Jones. (Although this one seems just a little behind the times. Isn't the diary craze over?) It also clearly fits the current IFP mandate that Bond was born in 1920 and active in the Fifties and Sixties. So, yes, it does contradict Gardner and Benson, but that's the official policy. Besides, I agree with Higson that the only person a new Bond author has to be true to is Fleming. I was a fan of Benson and Gardner's work (for the most part), but I don't take them to be canon. Nor will be The Moneypenny Diaries. But it might still be fun. I quite enjoyed SilverFin and thought that it clearly rose above it's obvious Potter cash-in roots. Hopefully "Kate Westbrook" will do the same.
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#78 spynovelfan

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 09:48 PM

Welcome to CBN, Brisco - you sound very sensible indeed. :) Lots of very interesting new members in the last couple of weeks.

#79 Brisco

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 05:23 AM

Welcome to CBN, Brisco - you sound very sensible indeed. :) Lots of very interesting new members in the last couple of weeks.

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Thank you, Spynovelfan! It's a pleasure to be here.

Now to propegate a conspiracy theory... I was just reading the Times piece on this subject and one part really jumped out at me:

"The subterfuge began to unravel after the top literary agent behind the book, Gillon Aitken, confessed that the name of the

#80 spynovelfan

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 10:36 AM

[quote name='Brisco' date='29 August 2005 - 05:23']Or maybe they want readers to THINK she's Helen Fielding.

#81 spynovelfan

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 11:49 AM

I think Professor John Lonsdale is the author or co-author of this book.

In the original CBN article breaking the story, 'Kate Westbrook' was said to be a historian specıalısing in 'the emergence of post-colonial structures' . This seems to have been taken out of that story now (at IFP's request, so as not to give the game away, perhaps?) - or, at least, I can no longer find it. But I refer to it on the first page of this thread. The term 'post-colonial structures' is not as common as it might appear. A Google search on that exact phrase only comes up with 105 results. The fourth result is this academic article. Note that Professor John Lonsdale, a historian at Trinity College, Cambridge, is on the panel of seven. Note, too, that in the article in the Times, Gideon Aiken admits that Westbrook is a pseudonym, but that she (or he, in my theory) is an academic at Trinity College, Cambridge. And note that Moneypenny's early life is spent in Kenya - Professor Lonsdale is arguably the world primary expert on the history of post-colonial Kenya. Google the exact phrase 'post-colonial structures' and the word 'kenya' and you get just 12 results. The top one is the above academic article; the fourth is this thread. Also note that Henry Chancellor, author of the other John Murray book on Bond due to be released, studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. Presumably history, as he now making his living a historian, so presumably tutored by Professor Lonsdale. Perhaps he was the contact between Lonsdale and IFP, and perhaps he helped with this book.

We know from IFP that this is a book partly set in colonial Kenya, written by a history professor at Trinity College, Cambridge who specıalıses in 'post-colonial structures' . Lonsdale is a history professor at Trinity College, Cambridge who specıalıses in 'post-colonial structures', especially regarding British rule in Kenya. Combined with the rarity of the precise phrase 'post-colonial structures' and its matching to him, I think John Lonsdale wrote the book. In the library, with a candlestick.

Perhaps CBN should email him to confirm? :)

#82 zencat

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 03:39 PM

Welcome to CBN, Brisco - you sound very sensible indeed. :)

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Ditto. Welcome to CBn, Brisco. :)

And great job on this latest Moneypenny Diaries story, [dark]. This has turned out to be a fun story to track.

The "Grumpy Old Bookman", who did a terrific story on this book when the first CBn story went up, has another today. Good stuff: http://www.grumpyold...n.blogspot.com/

#83 MrMoneypenny

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 06:07 PM

So her first name is Jane, eh? I thought it would be as lustrous as her last name. Oh well.

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Yep, I'm kinda disappoined by her first name too. According to the Moneypenny of Moneypennies, Lois Maxwell, her name was probably Gertrude!!!

And even if Moneypenny isn't a major character in the Fleming books, she's still my favorite. But who would have guessed with a log-in name like that?!?! :)

#84 Brisco

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 02:16 AM

That's some impressive detective work, Spynovelfan! Sounds right to me. Although the Helen Fielding literary agent thing also still seems suspicious. I still wonder if those two might be working together, him to provide the necessary history, her to provide the "Moneypenny" and the "Diary?"
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#85 spynovelfan

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 07:55 AM

I tihnk realistically Helen Fielding is out of IFP's price range. She's also unlikely to do it under a pseudonym, and so closely reprise her most famous work (which she must be sick of by now), especially using another author's character. Can't really see it - seems far more likely that the agent or IFP had the idea because of Bridget Jones. Just as they did with the Harry Potter books. Got someone other than Rowling to do them, though. Many of these projects at once, and all in a reasonably similar vein - sounds like the new IFP people have had a lot of meetings.

I do agree that it seems unlikely that a male professor who became a fellow in 1964 would be able to write the whole book/know Bond this well. Possible though - and I think almost certain that he was a cowriter of it. Trinity only has 13 history fellows. Lonsdale is the only one who is an expert in Kenya. He is also the only one who is an expert in colonialism. Those two facts alone would lead me to conclude it is probably him. But the fact that he popped up in just 105 Google results for a phrase used in IFP's press release is the clincher. When IFP asked him for a description of himself, he gave one that he was used to giving in his jargon, but which only 104 other sites out of billions recognise. That's pattern recognition, and I'm sure we'll find he wrote or cowrote this book.

I emailed him. :)

#86 Qwerty

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 08:25 PM

Advanced Reading Proof Sold - Article in CBn QuickNews on CBn Main Page.

#87 zencat

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 08:30 PM

Dang! I've been snooping on eBay for a proof, but I didn't see this. Oh, well. It's out soon enough. Good find, Qwert-O.

But can you change the above link to the actual ebay auction and not the CBn quick link. It goes all freaky when you do this.

#88 Qwerty

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 08:37 PM

Link altered.

#89 Qwerty

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 08:37 PM

Got mine pre-ordered!

#90 Gri007

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 07:26 AM

Think I'll wait till christmas for mine.




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