FLEMING (IAN) Typed letter signed ("Ian Fleming"), to Terence Furnell, of Maidstone, sending, for his confidential information, the bulletin recently placed on the notice board of the headquarters of the Secret Service near Regent's Park, Kemsley House, London, 18 June 1957

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Lot 203
FLEMING (IAN)
Typed letter signed ("Ian Fleming"), to Terence Furnell, of Maidstone, sending, for his confidential information, the bulletin recently placed on the notice board of the headquarters of the Secret Service near Regent's Park, Kemsley House, London, 18 June 1957

Sold for £ 1,125 (US$ 1,414) inc. premium
FLEMING (IAN)
Typed letter signed ("Ian Fleming"), to Terence Furnell, of Maidstone, sending, for his confidential information, the bulletin recently placed on the notice board of the headquarters of the Secret Service near Regent's Park, namely that: "After a period of anxiety the condition of No. 007 shows definite improvement. It has been confirmed that 007 was suffering from severe Fugu poisoning (a particularly virulent member of the curare group obtained from the sex glands of the Japanese Globe fish). This diagnosis, for which the Research Department of the School of Tropical Medicine was responsible, has determined a course of treatment which is proving successful", the bulletin issued by Sir James Molony of the Department of Neurology, St Mary's Hospital; Fleming adding that, in view of the above, it can be taken that James Bond will in due course be reporting fit for duty, 1 page, printed heading, separated where folded, stained at folds where strengthened overleaf with adhesive tape, tippexed overleaf, 4to, Kemsley House, London, 18 June 1957

Footnotes

  • ʻ007 WAS SUFFERING FROM SEVERE FUGU POISONING' – Fleming resurrects James Bond after his fatal poisoning by Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love. Published in the spring of 1957, From Russia with Love ends with Bond being stabbed by the poisoned knife famously secreted in Rosa Klebb's boot and with his subsequent collapse into unconsciousness. As when Moriarty and Holmes plunged off the Reichenbach Falls, this gave Fleming the opportunity to kill off his hero. It was only with the publication of Dr. No on 31 March 1958 that the public learned of Bond's miraculous survival. In the book, it falls to Sir James Molony of St Mary's Hospital to inform a very grumpy M. of the good news: ʻGot the message yesterday... Taken us three months. It was a bright chap at the School of Tropical Medicine who came up with it. The drug was fugu poison. The Japanese use it for committing suicide. It comes from the sex organs of the Japanese globe-fish. Trust the Russians to use something no one's ever heard of. They might as well have used curare. It has much the same effect – paralysis of the central nervous system. Fugu's scientific name is Tetrodotoxin. It's terrible stuff and very quick. One shot of it like your man got and in a matter of seconds the motor and respiratory muscles are paralysed. At first the chap sees double and then can't keep his eyes open. Next he can't swallow. His head falls and he can't raise it. Dies of respiratory paralysis'. Although Sir James gets the symptoms more-or-less right (it takes longer than described, and the victim remains conscious throughout), the specified cure – treating Bond as if for curare poisoning – would not have been of much use for, even to this day, there is no known antidote to fugu poisoning. A near identical version of this letter, with one paragraph added, was sent by Fleming to another correspondent three months later, on 26 September 1957 (sale in these rooms, 11 November 2015, Lot 97). Our letter was sent to the vendor's father.
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