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On her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming first edition 1963

On her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming first edition 1963


London: Jonathan Cape, 1963


8vo., brown publisher’s cloth, backstrip printed in gilt, with white ‘Ski’ motif to upper panel; in the original unclipped Richard Chopping dust jacket (16s. net), featuring a black and white illustration of the author to the lower flap; pp. [viii], 9-288; a fresh, bright copy, with minor bumping and scratches to the edge of the text block the only defects; jacket clean and unrestored, with the red lettering to spine, often faded, here bright and clear; some very marginal toning and creasing to extremities, but otherwise an excellent copy. 


First edition, first impression. Binding A in brown cloth. 


After the mixed reviews arising from his previous book, The Spy Who Loved Me, Fleming endeavored to return to his tried and tested formula with OHMSS. The villain Blofeld reappears, as well as the SPECTRE organisation, and Fleming sets much of the action in Alpine Ski resorts, having recently traveled to Engadine, near St Moritz. Blofeld’s mountain-top laboratory and retreat was based upon the Schloss Mittersill Alpine sports club, which had been commandeered by the Nazis during the war as a pseudo-scientific research centre. Fleming had learned to ski in the 1920s, and, heavily influenced by his surroundings, based Bond’s dramatic alpine descent on an experience he once had while navigating an avalanche-prone piste. 


Originally entitled The Belles of Hell, Fleming’s tenth novel proved popular. Graham Greene, who was heavily involved in its publication, insisted on a large print run, but the book still sold out within days of publication. 

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