Incredible collection of letters documenting the tumultuous affair between the James Bond creator and his Austrian love, including a salacious sketch of four places “where I would like to kiss you” 484. Ian Fleming. Amazing archive
consisting of ten items: six ALSs, one TLS with a handwritten postscript; two ANSs, and an unsigned photograph of Fleming. The letters’ recipient is not specifically named in their greetings, but research has indicated that each is to Edith Morpurgo, an Austrian girlfriend. Unless noted otherwise, each is on stationery imprinted “London Wall 8950. / 11, Throgmorton Avenue, / London, E.C.2. / 193_.” The archive includes: Four-page ALS in German on two adjoining sheets, signed “Ian,” 4.5 x 7. He has headed the first page, “First drawing: ‘where I would like to kiss you.’” Between the pair of eyes and pair of feet, he’s placed four x’s. Fleming continues, “Second: ‘I want to be with you” and draws a door with a “Do Not Disturb” sign. Two pairs of shoes, one man’s, the other woman’s, are outside the door. The letter is penned on the next three pages. In part (translated): “I am not going to say anything further to you, only tell you that I --- you. If I say ‘love’ you will only give me an argument and then I will have to whip you but that would make you cry and I don’t want that. I only want you to be happy. Just the same, I should hurt you, because you deserve that, to tame you (?) like a little wild animal. So, you better watch out. I would like nothing better than sleeping with you, do nothing but wrap my arms around and hold you tight, finding you still there when I wake up. It has to be sunny, though! Where are we going to find the sun in this dreary country?” Four-page ALS in pencil in German on two adjoining sheets, signed “Ian,” 4.5 x 7. Written as Edith is leaving him. In part (translated): “You, if you intended to hurt me, you did succeed and you can be proud having put such an ugly end to our friendship. …I felt like a child who has a mean governess. In the end I could do nothing right, everything was taken as a personal insult by you. ...You are leaving now poorer than you were when you came—even less prepared resuming your life in Vienna and that is terrible. I cannot believe you are meaning all this in earnest. Again lies and deceit, you will be thinking. Only one thing I want to impress on you—show a little humility and empathy, if you don’t have that, your life will be without joy and peace. ... Don’t let bitterness stay in your heart. Keep some of the goodness of those days. I beg of you, my poor dear one.” The archive is in overall fine condition, the exception being one letter which was evidently torn up and taped back together many years ago. While working for a successful stock brokerage in the 1930s, Fleming began his pursuit of Miss Edith Morpurgo, an enigmatic Austrian woman who he continued to romance for the next several years. This highly personal collection of letters reveals the highs and lows of their passionate relationship, alternating between playfully affectionate declarations of love—“I would like nothing better than sleeping with you, do nothing but wrap my arms around and hold you tight, finding you still there when I wake up”—and deep sadness over a broken relationship—“this is very sad, because we have been good for one another and I loved you very much in my very own way. But now that you are leaving I wish everything had turned out differently.” His command over the German language, as displayed in these letters, filled with nuanced wordplay and crafty expression, would lead directly to his secretive position in World War II, infiltrating German territory to carry out missions of espionage and intrigue that would form the basis of the James Bond series. An outstanding archive of heartfelt and passionate words from the highly sought after author, honing his skills with the language that would play a crucial role in his career. RR Auction COA.…(MB $1000)
112 | July 17, 2013 | ART & LITERATURE
Published on Jun 26, 2013
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