November 21, 2008

Book signed for ‘real’ 007 up for sale

A first-edition British copy of You Only Live Twice, inscribed by author Ian Fleming to the real James Bond, is going up for auction.

Profiles in History said the novel was inscribed by Fleming on the front free endpaper: To the real James Bond from the thief of his identity. Ian Fleming, Feb. 5, 1964.

Scheduled to go on sale Dec. 11, the book is expected to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000, the auction house said. Bids can be placed either in person, by mail, phone, fax or live on the Internet at eBay Live Auctions or

When writing 'Casino Royale' in the early (1950s), Fleming needed a name for his soon-to-be famous fictional secret agent, the auction house said in a news release. He looked no further than the coffee table of his home in Jamaica, where he found inspiration in a copy of 'Birds of the West Indies' by American ornithologist James Bond.

The two authors did not meet in person until a few months before Fleming died in 1964, when Bond visited Fleming at the Jamaican home where 007 was born, the news release said. Fleming gave Bond a signed pre-publication copy of 'You Only Live Twice' -- which the auction house said was the only book Fleming ever inscribed for the real-life Bond.