How did Ann Fleming feel about other people writing Bond novels after her husband Ian`s death?

She once said that Bond was her late husband`s creation and shouldn`t be commercialized as such. She asked her brother-in-law Peter Fleming, “Are you sure that Glidrose should not pay a capital sum to the estate for the right to continue Bond? It seems roses all the way for Campbell and taxed income for the family.”

According to “The Letters Of Ann Fleming” edited by Mark Amory (published in 1985), she wrote this about Amis:

In an April 13th, 1967 letter to Lord Campbell, “Since Peter Fleming agrees to the counterfeit Bond, I am prepared to accept his judgment. Though my distaste for the project is in no way altered I think Amis should publish under his own name and show the world that his left-wing intellectual pretensions were easily turned to money grubbing – like everyone else.”

She also wrote this in her never published review of “Colonel Sun” for the Sunday Telegraph (they didn`t print it for fear of libel):

“Since the exploiters hope “Colonel Sun” will be the first of a new and successful series, they may find themselves exploited. Amis will slip “Lucky Jim” into Bond`s clothing, we shall have a petite bourgeois red brick Bond, he will resent the authority of M, then the discipline of the Secret Service, and end as a Philby Bond selling his country to Spectre. James to Jim to Kim.”

She wasn`t much kinder about John Pearson:

“The London Sunday Times are being most kind to me for helping an unknown called John Pearson to write Ian`s life. Alas, cautious speech is not for me, Mr Pearson thrives on nervous giggles and floods of indiscretion, he leaves me to tears and dreadful exhaustion and goes home well pleased.” {John Pearson (1930- ). Worked on the Atticus column of The Sunday Times, as did Fleming. He had written a novel[,] and a book about Donald Campbell breaking the world speed record before [writing] “The Life of Ian Fleming”, 1966.}

“J. Pearson`s book revolts me, and I am distressed that I played any part in it – but it will soon be over and forgotten, though one day I would like a very short appraisal of Ian to be written, though heaven knows who by – the truth is immediately forgotten. I am grateful for letters from Alan Ross and Frankie Donaldson saying the letters to me were not a breach of taste but added [they] proved Ian capable of real feeling, and not a bit like the rest of the book, a bit of Bond fantasy. I have had guilt in showing them to the rabbit Pearson, who became a ferret.”

John Pearson writes: `I`m sorry Ann found me such a “ferret” although I suppose it`s what a biographer has to be, and sorrier still to have been the cause of such distress of which I was genuinely ignorant. Odd I was so “unknown” to her, as I was originally hired by Ian for The Sunday Times and worked as his assistant there for several years. As for my *Life of Ian Fleming*, the reader will soon discover that far from being just `a bit of Bond fantasy` it was a solidly researched account of the whole of his extraordinary life and career. Re-reading my references to Ann I find it quite incomprehensible why she found them so objectionable. Presumably remorse, which I hadn`t thought afflicted her. And of course she found everything to do with poor old Bond vulgar and more or less contemptible.`

There is no record of her having said anything about RD Mascott, Geoffrey Jenkins, Christopher Wood or John Gardner. However, she enjoyed and laughed at her friend Cyril Connolly`s short story “Bond Strikes Camp”. Ann Fleming died of cancer in July 1981.

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