Ian Fleming caused quite a stir in 1957 with the release of From Russia with Love, due in no small part to what seemed to be the death of James Bond at the novel’s close. In fact, so concerned were 007 fans that the author quickly amassed thousands of worried letters. Ever the storyteller, Fleming responded by way of charming letters similar to the one below.
(The copyright in this letter is owned by the Ian Fleming Estate and is reproduced here with the Estate’s permission. Further use of the letter is not permitted without the Estate’s express permission.)
KEMSLEY HOUSE, LONDON, W.C.1.
31st October, 1957.
Dear Miss Winder,
How very kind of you to have written.
For your confidential information, the following bulletin was recently placed on the canteen notice board of the headquarters of the Secret Service near Regent’s Park:
“After a period of anxiety the condition of No. 007 shows definite improvement.
It has been confirmed that 007 was suffering from severe Fugu poisoning (a particularly virulent member of the curare group obtained from the sex glands of Japanese Globe fish). This diagnosis, for which the Research Department of the School of Tropical Medicine was responsible, has determined a course of treatment which is proving successful.
No further bulletins will be issued.
Sir James Molony,
Department of Neurology,
St. Mary’s Hospital,
London, W.2. “
In view of the above, I think we can take it that James Bond will in due course be reporting fit for duty.
Miss J. Winder,