Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "Casino Royale Study Guide." Course Hero. 14 July 2017. Web. 10 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Casino-Royale/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2017, July 14). Casino Royale Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Casino-Royale/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "Casino Royale Study Guide." July 14, 2017. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Casino-Royale/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "Casino Royale Study Guide," July 14, 2017, accessed December 10, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Casino-Royale/.

Ian Fleming | Biography

Share
Share

Upbringing and Education

Ian Lancaster Fleming was born on May 28, 1908, in London to a wealthy and well-connected family. His paternal grandfather, Robert Fleming, was an enormously successful Scottish banker and his father, Valentine, was a conservative member of Parliament. Valentine died during World War I when Ian was only eight, so Ian and his three brothers were primarily raised by their mother, Evelyn. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Peter, Fleming attended the prestigious private school Eton College (1921–26). He was not a spectacular pupil. Frequently in trouble for skipping classes, he put more effort into student athletics, at which he excelled. His mother realized Eton was not the educational environment for Ian and arranged for him to graduate a semester early to prepare for Sandhurst Military College. That didn't go well either, and he left after only a year.

Next determining a government career might be appropriate for her wayward son, Evelyn Fleming sent Ian abroad to study different languages in preparation for the administration's foreign-service exams. His first stop was the Tannerhof, an Austrian school run by British diplomat, Ernan Forbes-Dennis and his wife, English novelist Phyllis Bottome. Both had a lasting influence on the young and troubled Fleming. Bottome helped him hone his fiction writing, which he had first explored at Eton, while Forbes-Dennis's career in Britain's Secret Intelligence Service as a spy and station chief expanded Fleming's imagination. After his year at the Tannerhof, Fleming traveled more to practice his German and French before taking his foreign-service exams—on which he achieved mediocre results.

Early Career

When a career in the government's Foreign Office initially seemed out of reach, Fleming turned to journalism. He began writing for the international news agency Reuters in 1931, but he soon discovered the lavish lifestyle to which he was accustomed couldn't be supported on a reporter's salary. He briefly tried the family business of banking, found it dull, and returned to Reuters, where his reporting on a Russian espionage trial earned the attention of the Foreign Office. In 1939 the Foreign Office engaged Fleming on an assignment to Russia to unofficially report on Russia's viability as an ally in the forthcoming conflict. When World War II broke out, he landed a job as an assistant to the Director of British Naval Intelligence, Rear Admiral John Godfrey. While on a stopover in Portugal in 1941, Godfrey and Fleming did some gambling at a local casino. As they left, Fleming reportedly mused, "What if those men had been German Secret Service agents, and suppose we had cleaned them out of their money; now that would have been exciting." That very thought percolated for 11 years and eventually became the basis for Casino Royale.

In 1944 Fleming attended a naval conference in Jamaica. Having heard wonderful things about the country from Forbes-Dennis, he too fell in love with the Caribbean island. He vowed to move there after the war and write "the spy story to end all spy stories." When the war ended in 1945 Fleming took a job as the Foreign Manager of Kemsley News publications, including London's Sunday Times. His contract stipulated he received two months off a year, which he spent in Jamaica. In 1947 he bought 15 acres of land next to a disused donkey racetrack and turned it into his beloved estate, Goldeneye.

Bond, James Bond

Fleming was vacationing at Goldeneye in January 1952 when he decided to write a novel. Working for three hours per day at the rate of 2,000 words at each sitting, Fleming completed his first book, Casino Royale, on March 18, 1952. Barely any research was required—Fleming based most of the book's plot on his own experiences and used his imagination to fill in the rest. The book's protagonist was the realization of many of Fleming's adolescent fantasies: a sophisticated and daring spy who drives fast cars and always gets the girl. Fleming took the now-famous character's bland and ordinary name straight from his "Jamaican bible," A Field Guide to the Birds of the West Indies by American ornithologist James Bond. Fleming—who ran a journal called The Book Collector and considered himself a literary snob—was at first mildly appalled by what he had written. It took him nearly a year to show the manuscript to his friend William Plomer, a poet who was also a reader for Jonathan Cape, a British publishing house. Despite the publisher's reluctance to take on this serious and gruesome thriller, Plomer pushed the manuscript. James Bond made his debut in Casino Royale in April 1953. The book sold very well immediately and was reprinted several times.

Fleming followed up Casino Royale a year later with 1954's Live and Let Die. In all he wrote 12 Bond books and two collections of short stories, as well as the children's story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Ian Fleming died on August 12, 1964, in Canterbury, England. His final contribution to the Bond series, The Man with the Golden Gun, was published posthumously in 1965.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Casino Royale? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!