FLEMING, Ian. Thunderball. London: Jonathan Cape, 1961.
8vo., original dark brown publisher's boards, embossed with a skeleton's hand to upper cover duplicating the dust jacket; spine lettered in gilt; in the original unclipped pictorial dust wrapper (15s. Net) with an iconic Chopping design; pp. [viii], 9-253, [iii]; edges and spine tips a touch bumped; with the odd spot to upper edge, evidence of some tape removal to rear paste-down and endpaper; else near-fine in the vibrant unrestored wrapper which is just slightly nicked to the spine ends, with some small creases to lower panel and marginal toning to edges; a lovely copy.
First edition, first impression, first issue. Binding A. The ninth James Bond novel, Bond's first encounter with Ernest Stavro Blofeld and his organization, SPECTRE.
Thunderball was the first of Fleming's books to be a novelization of an unfilmed James Bond screenplay. It was born from a collaboration of Fleming with Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, Ivar Bryce and Ernest Cuneo. The controversial shared credit of Fleming, McClory and Whittingham was, however, the result of a courtroom decision. The film starred Sean Connery in the title role.
The novel constitutes the second wave of Bond villains: the first being SMERSH and the second being the introduction of Blofeld and SPECTRE. The influence of Ernst Stavro Blofeld's name can be traced back to Tom Blofeld, a Norfolk farmer and a fellow member of Fleming's club Boodle's, who was a contemporary of the author whilst he was at Eton.