From 1946 until the end of his life, Ian Fleming lived for two months of every year at Goldeneye - the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white sand beach on Jamaica’s north coast. All the Bond novels and stories were written here.
So much of Bond leads back to Jamaica: the high-end jet-set tourism world in which our hero moves, the relentless attention to race, the aching concern with the end of the Empire and national decline, the awkward new relationship with the United States. Furthermore, the spirit of the island – its exotic beauty, its unpredictable danger, its melancholy, its love of exaggeration and gothic melodrama – infuses the novels.
Fleming threw himself into the hedonistic Jet Set party scene along the north coast: Hollywood giants, and the cream of British aristocracy, the theatre, literary society and the secret services spent their time here drinking and bed-hopping. But while the whites partied, Jamaican blacks, like other colonized people all over the empire, were rising up to demand respect and self-government. And as the imperial hero James Bond – projecting British power across the world – became ever more anachronistic and fantastical, so his popularity soared.
Drawing on extensive interviews with Ian’s family, his Jamaican lover Blanche Blackwell and many other Jamaicans, and timed to be released around the 50th anniversary of Fleming’s death, GOLDENEYE is a thoroughly researched and original account of a comparatively neglected but crucially important part of Ian Fleming’s life and work.
Matthew was born in El Salvador in 1970 to an English expatriate family and spent part of his childhood in the West Indies. He now lives in the rather untropical East End of London with his family and annoying dog. READ MORE>>