Ian Fleming Had His Own Miss Moneypenny to Help Him Write

Posted on March 26, 2008

It appears that Ian Fleming had his own Miss Moneypenny to help him write his James Bond novels. BBC News reports that a set of letters between Fleming and his secretary Jean Frampton will be auctioned. The letters reveal the extent to which Mrs. Frampton revised and helped Fleming with the manuscripts. In the letters, Frampton and Fleming discuss novels including Thunderball, You only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun and a A View to a Kill.

Fleming writes in one of the letters, "I have written a full-length James Bond story, provisionally called Thunderball. I am afraid this is not a good transcript and I would be deeply obliged if you would apply your usual keen mind to any points -- absolutely any -- that might help the book get into shape."

In one of her letters to Ian Fleming, Mrs. Frampton says, "I still regret the end of Thunderball, as my naive and literal mind would like to know what exactly happened to the Disco and the rest of her crew and the bombs, how Domino escaped, and, of course, what about Blofeld (or does he live to fight another day?)"

So, Sir Ian had his own Miss Moneypenney? Actually it appears he had three secretaries at one time, so he really had three Miss Moneypennys. How absolutely fascinating. We wonder if any of them had a secret crush on her employer, just as the fictional Miss Moneypenney yearned after James Bond. Or was that a writerly invention? The letters will be sold at auction by Duke's auctioneers in Dorset on April 10th.