You Only Live Twice.
"You only live twice: Once when you're born And once when you look death in the face": First Edition of You Only Live Twice; Inscribed by Ian Fleming to close friend Noël Coward
You Only Live Twice.
Item Number: 111065
London: Jonathan Cape, 1965.
First edition of the final James Bond novel published during Fleming’s lifetime and the eleventh in the series. First state with “First published 1964” on the copyright page. Octavo, original black cloth lettered in gilt, patterned endpapers. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Celestial Coward-san from Miserable Fleming-san.” The recipient, English playwright, director and actor Noël Coward was a close friend of Fleming’s and his neighbor in Jamaica. Named for the luminous insects seen in the warm evenings, his Firefly Estate east of Oracabessa, Jamaica entertained a wide range of guests, including both the Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Olivier, Sophia Loren, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Sir Alec Guinness, Peter O’Toole, and Richard Burton. Coward, inspired to build his own Jamaican retreat by a visit to Goldeneye in 1948, was Fleming’s closest friend on the island and it was with his great encouragement that Fleming began writing the Bond novels that made him famous. When Fleming married Ann in 1952, Coward was one of two wedding guests and in the same year he was made godfather to their newborn son Caspar. Known for his likable sophistication and sharp sense of humor, Coward’s songs, plays, and films were immensely popular from the early 1920s through the 60s and 70s when they achieved renewed fame and critical acclaim with a variety of new revues celebrating his music, including Oh, Coward! on Broadway and Cowardy Custard in London. Coward won an Academy Honorary Award in 1943 for his naval film drama ‘In Which We Serve’, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1969, and received a Tony Award for lifetime achievement in 1970. Fleming referenced Coward on page 227 of the present volume when Bond muttered to Blofeld after an explosion, “I’ll admit that your effects man down below knows his stuff. Now bring on the twelve she-devils, and if they’re all as beautiful as Fräulein Bunt, we’ll get Noël Coward to put it to music and have it on Broadway by Christmas. How about it?” With Coward’s bookplate to the pastedown. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Richard Chopping. An exceptional association copy of this particularly uncommon signed and inscribed title as Fleming passed away in the year of publication.
You Only Live Twice is the eleventh novel and twelfth book in Ian Fleming's James Bond series. The Belfast Telegraph considered Fleming to be "still in a class of his own." The Bookman declared that You Only Live Twice "must rank among the best of the Bonds." It is the last novel by Fleming to be published in his lifetime, with subsequent works being published posthumously. Made into the 1967 film of the same title with a screenplay by Roald Dahl, starring Sean Connery as Bond and Donald Pleasence as Blofeld.