Calling all James Bond fans! The independent publisher of beautifully crafted editions, The Folio Society, is to release a new Limited Edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale today, which has been designed in close collaboration with the Ian Fleming estate. It marks seven decades since the book’s publication in 1953, which revolutionised the espionage genre and later spawned the most successful British film franchise of all time.
Collectors will have to move quickly to add this SMERSH-ing special collector’s edition to their bookshelves, as only 750 copies have been printed.
At his Goldeneye home in Jamaica in 1952, Ian Fleming, then 44 years of age, set out to write his first novel with the intention that it would be “the spy story to end all spy stories”. The name of his hero was taken from an American ornithologist who authored a field guide Birds of the West Indies. A keen amateur birdwatcher himself, Fleming had a copy of James Bond’s book. And so a name that is legendary around the world came into being! Fleming described ‘James Bond’ as a “brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name”. The iconic closing line of ‘Casino Royale’ makes it into the 2006 Daniel Craig movie which launched his groundbreaking tenure as 007. That movie, generally regarded as among the best of the entire run, sticks faithfully to the plot of Fleming’s book, even down to Bond having his balls whipped on a seatless chair by Le Chiffre. Once read, that scene is never forgotten.
The book features an exclusive new introduction by award-winning author Kim Sherwood, who is expanding the world of James Bond with a new trilogy of ‘Double O’ novels that began last year with ‘Double or Nothing’. Her introduction discusses how Ian Fleming changed spy fiction forever with the creation of James Bond.
Kim Sherwood, author and introducer of the Folio Limited Edition, says: “Casino Royale reinvents the genre, and this beautiful edition celebrates its explosive style and elegance perfectly.”
The Folio Society Limited Edition features new artwork by illustrator Fay Dalton, who has combined traditional drawing methods with digital painting. It includes two striking double-page pictures and seven new black-and-white illustrations integrated throughout the text. The book is bound in leather and the cover design is a nod to one of ‘Casino Royale’s memorable scenes, where Bond takes on his adversary Le Chiffre over a game of baccarat. Each edition comes in an artwork-lined clamshell box and includes an exclusive limitation label signed by the artist.
James Rose, Head of Editorial at The Folio Society, says: “James Bond is a core part of our literary and cultural heritage, as well as being a central part of my own upbringing, so it is with great pride that we’ve been able to bring together the incredible talents of Fleming, Sherwood and Dalton, as well as those of our printers and binders, to create this special 70th anniversary edition. Here’s to another 70 years!”
Simon Ward, Publishing Director at Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, says: “2023 marks the 70th year since 007 was created and this new limited edition is as smart and impeccably tailored as the man himself. We are thrilled to see The Folio Society continuing its run of beautiful, lovingly crafted versions of Ian Fleming’s classic stories. Ian Fleming was an avid collector of books and he would surely cherish this landmark publication of his groundbreaking novel.”
The Folio Society first published Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first novel, in 2015 and have since published 11 other James Bond novels from the author, as well as the short story collection For Your Eyes Only, all illustrated by Fay Dalton. See our piece James Bond in print – revisiting The Folio Society’s Ian Fleming collection.
The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, introduced by Kim Sherwood and illustrated by Fay Dalton, is exclusively available from The Folio Society.