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Manuscript notebook, including material used in You Only Live Twice.

1962 Stock Code: 145643
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One of few significant manuscripts in private hands

Undoubtedly one of the very last pieces of significant Fleming manuscript material outside the Lilly Library's Fleming collection.

These notes were made at the time of Fleming's trip to Japan in 1961. He returned to Japan with the express purpose of making a trip that he could funnel into a Bond story. He wrote to his friend Richard Hughes in advance with a detailed itinerary listing all the things they would need to see for the novel: "After a couple of days in Tokyo, I would like us to take the most luxurious modern train down south to the inland sea... I would also like to see pearl girls diving - my heroine will be a beautiful girl who has learned to speak English working on an underwater film in Hollywood - and hot baths, a live volcano for suicides, and any terrifying manifestation of the horrific Japan" (Pearson, The Life of Ian Fleming, London, 1966).

Fleming kept this notebook while jaunting around the hottest spots of Japan with Hughes. Along with hotel and restaurant addresses, phone numbers, and simple Japanese phrases, the notebook contains several longer prose passages. Most significantly, the notebook contains several passages that would eventually form the basis of episodes in You Only Live Twice.

Other passages include philosophical jottings on the people and culture of Japan: "How many of one's own nationals want to live in another country & how many of that country want to live in yours. Moshimosh hello! Only the good can be bad - only the believer can blaspheme - only the black can be white. Flower - known as the FL service - or to the subs as FLOPPO." Many of these passages and observations can be directly traced in his published work, first in Thrilling Cities, then in You Only Live Twice.

Fleming manuscript material is notably scarce and very few items of any significance have appeared in commerce. Another notebook for You Only Live Twice, similar in format but shorter (39 pages), was sold at auction at Sotheby's London, 20 July 1989, lot 174. A 120-page typescript, being Fleming's working notebook of ideas for various Bond novels, kept from July 1957 to January 1964, was sold at Sotheby's London, 15 December 1992, lot 296. Besides these, the finished typescripts of Diamonds Are Forever and The Man With the Golden Gun, and a few scattered notes for From Russia, with Love and his article, "Bang, Bang. Kiss, Kiss", no other significant Fleming manuscript material has come to auction in 50 years.

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Oblong duodecimo. Contemporary French notepad with grid-ruled pages, cloth-backed boards. Housed in a red cloth chemise and a red morocco-backed slipcase.


54 leaves and 7 blanks, written mostly on rectos, the first leaf neatly excised.


In superb condition.


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