"It’s just that I’d rather die of drink than of thirst": First edition of Ian Fleming's Thunderball; Inscribed by Fleming to OSS and CIA Agent Charles Jackson




Item Number: 100002

London: Jonathan Cape, 1961.

First edition of the ninth novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Octavo, original black cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To C.D. Jackson who says nice things! from Ian Fleming.” The recipient Charles Douglas Jackson joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1943 and the following year he was appointed Deputy Chief at the Psychological Warfare Division at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and it was during this time Fleming, working for Britain’s Naval Intelligence Division, likely would have met Jackson. After the war, Jackson worked for Life Magazine, and at the time of Thunderball‘s publication, had become the magazine’s publisher. Several years after Jackson’s death in 1964 it was revealed that he had been a CIA agent since 1948. An exceptional association of two important figures in the British/American nexus of World War II and Cold War intelligence operatives given its fullest embodiment in the popular imagination through Fleming’s enduring spy avatar James Bond. Gilbert A9a (1.1). Fine in a near fine dust jacket with a touch of shelfwear. Jacket art by Richard Chopping. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

"Thunderball represented a new departure [for the Bond series], with the introduction of SPECTRE and of Ernst Blofeld, a commanding villain who was to reappear. This gave a measure of continuity to the later Bond novels Thunderball worked well as an adventure story the theme of the theft of atom bombs seemed pertinent and modern" (Black, 49, 55). "A thriller, a chiller and a pleasure to read" (New York Times). It was adapted twice to the screen: under the present title in 1965 and as Never Say Never Again in 1983—each time starring Sean Connery.

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