Jonathan Cape, 1961. First edition, first impression, presentation copy. Octavo. Original dark grey boards, spine lettered in gilt, skeletal hand motif blocked on the front cover in blind (Gilbert's A binding). With first issue dust jacket (priced at 15s.) Head and foot of spine very slightly bumped; a fine copy. Minor stain to a small portion of the front panel, short closed tear to the foot of the rear panel, extremities very slightly rubbed; else a near-fine and bright jacket. Inscribed by the author "To Noël, In exchange for the copy of P & C he didn't send me! With love Ian" on the front free endpaper. The inscription refers to Noël Coward's first and only novel, Pomp and Circumstance (1960), at the centre of which is a thinly-veiled account of Fleming's affair with Ann. Set on the fictional island of Samolo – a close match for Jamaica – it concerns the secret relationship between the aristocratic Eloise and her lover, Bunny, whose character mirrors Fleming's almost exactly. "In the character of Bunny... we have a remarkably unflinching portrait of Ian Fleming's time on the island in 1949-51, the years immediately preceding his marriage to Ann and the simultaneous launch of James Bond … It's astonishing how little Coward bothered to make up" (Parker, page 91). This copy is from the significant Ian Fleming collection of Martin Schøyen (b.1940), with his bookplate. Schøyen's private collection of manuscripts, which span all cultures and all time periods, is one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. Item #155920
Matthew Parker, Goldeneye, Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica, 2015; Gilbert A9a(1.1); The Schøyen Collection No. 70.