London: Jonathan Cape. 1959. First Impression, First Issue, Second State., INSCRIBED ASSOCIATION COPY. Publisher's black cloth-effect paper over boards with gilt stamped 'skull'. Pictorial dustwrapper by Richard Chopping. A lightly used copy with one short tear at joint, jacket is near fine and shows extremely well. With presentation inscription to flyleaf; To / Gomer / For one of those / aeroplane trips! / With affection / from / Ian. (underline). Housed in a collector's box. This copy was given to Fleming's employer who gave him the means to write. James Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley, self-made newspaper baron and owner of the Sunday Times amongst others, first encountered Fleming (appropriately) over a game of cards before the war and was attracted to the young Fleming's confidence. Fleming, as seen by Henry Hopkinson who was also present at the meeting, was "a little too big for his boots but also full of brilliant comment" (Lycett). After the war, Kemsley was quick to take Fleming under his wing by offering him a job as foreign manager of Kemsley Newspapers, with the absurdly high salary of £4500 a year (plus expenses and guaranteed two months off, which fleming spent writing his novels). Throughout their working relationship, Kemsley regarded Fleming as a favoured son. Although by no means a senior figure in the Kemsley organisation, Fleming was the only person in the building who would call Lord and Lady Kemsley by their first names, and frequently saw them socially. It was often to Fleming that Kemsley would turn to for fundamental advice, and Fleming was always able to persuade Kemsley to go along with his ever more audacious schemes. In reality it was a mutually beneficial relationship: Fleming soon brought the ailing Sunday Times glamour, social cachet and credibility, and in return was given the means and opportunity to pursue his lifestyle with little inconvenience, ultimately leading to the creation of James Bond. Item #36695
Gilbert A7a (1.2). See also Appendix A, pages 634-5.