09 August 2014

Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica (Matthew Parker)

'Goldeneye: the story of Ian Fleming in Jamaica and the creation of British national icon, James Bond.

From 1946 until the end of his life, Ian Fleming lived for two months of every year at Goldeneye - the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white sand beach on Jamaica's north coast. All the James Bond novels and stories were written here.

Fleming adored the Jamaica he had discovered, at the time an imperial backwater that seemed unchanged from the glory days of the empire. Amid its stunning natural beauty, the austerity and decline of post-war Britain could be forgotten. For Fleming, Jamaica offered the perfect mixture of British old-fashioned conservatism and imperial values, alongside the dangerous and sensual: the same curious combination that made his novels so appealing, and successful. The spirit of the island - its exotic beauty, its unpredictability, its melancholy, its love of exaggeration and gothic melodrama - infuses his writing.

Fleming threw himself into the island's hedonistic Jet Set party scene: Hollywood giants, and the cream of British aristocracy, the theatre, literary society and the secret services spent their time here drinking and bed-hopping. But while the whites partied, Jamaican blacks were rising up to demand respect and self-government. And as the imperial hero James Bond - projecting British power across the world - became ever more anachronistic and fantastical, so his popularity soared.

Drawing on extensive interviews with Ian's family, his Jamaican lover Blanche Blackwell and many other islanders, Goldeneye is a beautifully written, revealing and original exploration of a crucially important part of Ian Fleming's life and work.'


Robert said...

A well written in depth book about "THE", repeat and emphasize the word "THE", SHRINE (at least to me) where the books that make up the modern day man's bible was written.
Colonialism and Imperialism will never die as long as Bond is popular.
Everything I was, am or wanted to be I owe to "Bond, James Bond" (and it is and has been a very enjoyable way of living).

Ivar said...

The British can't seem to escape their 70 year old funk. With the decline of the United States, the U.K. has the opportunity to return to its 16th Century roots and recreate itself as a tough and scrappy trading nation.

Instead it wallows in Political Correctness, purse-lipped feminism and Big Nanny socialism, with no end in sight. It breaks my heart to see the Ancestral Homeland dying like this, with hardly a whimper.

I must be living Hell for the 30% or so of the True English who are constantly held back and frustrated by the sludge.

D.W. Gent said...

Looking forward to reading. After watching the BBC miniseries (Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond,) I was inspired to pick up Andrew Lycett's excellent biography on Fleming and re-read the chapters on Jamaica.

Simon said...

Have you read Froude's "The English in the West Indies"? You will find it immensely interesting, a truly wonderful read.

Jacobite said...

If the English had enough sense to let Scotland go then Labour would never win another election!