Richard Gott

He Became as Famous as Mickey Mouse

Ian Fleming

By

Weidenfeld & Nicolson 453pp £20 order from our bookshop

My father was Ann Fleming’s architect and she gave him nothing but trouble, only equalled by that caused by her impossibly spoilt son, Caspar, who proved to be not long for this world. The gentlest of men, my father would clearly have liked to beat Caspar black and blue, but only now do I realise that the endlessly irritated Mrs Fleming was probably hoping that he would do the same to her. My mother, I discover from this book, was born in the same house in Green Street as Ian Fleming, and my cousin bought the Flemings’ dreary pile at Brazier‘s Park in south Oxfordshire – a property only redeemed by the fact that one could find man-orchids growing wild in its meadows (one of many secrets that one is not supposed to tell anyone). So if you like reading books with jackdaw jottings about the moneyed intelligentsia of yesteryear (now more pejoratively known as the chattering classes), this is the book for you.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,
    • We've just stumbled on a gem from the LR archive. The emoluments page from May 1995, in which one reviewer asked to… ,
    • Unlike Mary Shelley's monstrous creation, Jeanette Winterson's Frankenstein-inspired novel feels 'barely alive', sa… ,