Ian Fleming
The Complete Man

by Nicholas Shakespeare


Sunday 8 October, 11:30am

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Join us for the book launch of the new biography of Ian Fleming by local author Nicholas Shakespeare. The book is a fascinating new biography of the man behind James Bond, by an award-winning biographer and novelist who has unprecedented access to the Fleming family papers.

Ian Fleming’s greatest creation, James Bond, has had an enormous and ongoing impact on our culture. What Bond represents about ideas of masculinity, the British national psyche and global politics has shifted over time, as has the interpretation of the life of his author. But Fleming himself was more mysterious and subtle than anything he wrote.

Ian’s childhood with his gifted brother Peter and his extraordinary mother set the pattern for his ambition to be ‘the complete man’, and he would strive for the means to achieve this ‘completeness’ all his life. Only a thriller writer for his last twelve years, his dramatic personal life and impressive career in Naval Intelligence put him at the heart of critical moments in world history, while also providing rich inspiration for his fiction. Exceptionally well connected, and widely travelled, from the United States and Soviet Russia to his beloved Jamaica, Ian had access to the most powerful political figures at a time of profound change.

Nicholas Shakespeare is one of the most gifted biographers working today. His unprecedented access to the Fleming family papers and his nose for a story make this a fresh and eye-opening picture of a man whose life was overshadowed by his famous creation.

Nicholas Shakespeare was born in 1957. The son of a diplomat, much of his youth was spent in the Far East and South America. His books have been translated into twenty-two languages. He has been twice longlisted for the Booker Prize.


‘This is a marvellous book about Ian Fleming, but it’s also one of the most engaging portraits of a particular period of British history that I have read in a long time’  Antonia Fraser