In July of 1954, just a few months after the release of Live and Let Die, Ian Fleming wrote the following letter to his publishers, Jonathan Cape, and suggested some names for the next installment in the James Bond series. “The Infernal Machine” was named as his favourite, but clearly not for long. At the foot of the letter, four more names were scribbled in pen, one of which — Moonraker — was eventually chosen. It was released the next year.
Transcript follows. Image kindly supplied by G. Owen.
(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.
15th July 1954
Dear Wren Howard,
What do you think of THE INFERNAL MACHINE as a title?
Or alternatively WIDE OF THE MARK or THE INHUMAN ELEMENT?
Personally, I think the first might be the one. It is an expression everyone knows but has been long out of fashion.
G. Wren Howard Esq.,
30 Bedford Square,
Bond & the Moonraker The Moonraker Secret The Moonraker Plot
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