Preview: For Your Eyes Only - Ian Fleming And James Bond, Imperial War Museum, London
The world is not enough for this show
Monday 07 April 2008
Daniel Craig's blood-stained shirt from Casino Royale and Q's travelling-case from A View to a Kill will go on show in the first major exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond.
There are lots of images of the novelist looking dapper in black tie – even reading a copy of his own book For Your Eyes Only in 1960 – along with a desk and chair from his Jamaican home Goldeneye, where he wrote the Bond novels.
Exhibits include a yellow helmet worn by Drax's men in Moonraker; a cello pierced by a bullet from The Living Daylights; a spear-gun from Thunderball; a transparent bomb from The World Is Not Enough; a prototype of Rosa Klebb's flick-knife shoes in From Russia With Love; the golf shoes worn by the titular baddie in Goldfinger; a wing-mirror dart-gun from Live and Let Die; the heart transplant unit used for smuggling diamonds in The Living Daylights; the overcoat worn by Sean Connery in Dr No; and a picture of Halle Berry in an orange bikini in Die Another Day.
The Imperial War Museum exhibition honours this year's centenary of Fleming's birth, and examines the novelist and 007 in their historical contexts.
"We don't get much back-story until the last book, You Only Live Twice," says James Taylor, the co-curator. "There are snippets in other books, but it's clear that Fleming and Bond are not the same person. Bond is Fleming's fantasy. There are parallels between them – both are orphans [Fleming lost his father just short of his ninth birthday], Old Etonians, fluent in German and French and have Scottish blood – but the comparisons stop there."
Fleming had a desk job in naval intelligence from 1939 to 1945, but he didn't see much action, unlike Bond. His favourite food was scrambled eggs – a far cry from Bond's gourmet taste.
17 April to 1 March (020-7416 5439)
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