- Fleming, Ian
- 'The Man with the Golden Gun', corrected typescript
- ink on paper
By the 1960s the production of a new Bond novel followed a familiar routine. When Fleming was completing his text he would request that a set of clean typescripts be produced from it, which in this case he did on 14 April 1964. Fleming's text was sent to the typists in batches between 15 April and 16 June, and three sub-edited typescripts were completed by 24 June. This is one of those copies, presumably the one that was sent to Fleming on 25 June and which, with Fleming's light revisions, was then sent to William Plomer at Cape on 1 July. Fleming was not satisfied with the text and planned to revise it in Jamaica the following year so he did not wish the typescript to be circulated within the wider editorial team. Plomer wrote that he "much enjoyed the book as it is" but the question of further revision soon became moot: Fleming's health, which had been poor for some time, was in rapid decline and he died on 12 August. This typescript therefore almost certainly contains Fleming's last ever work on James Bond. This typescript, including as it did the author's final changes, was then sent to the printer for use as the setting copy.
Fleming's revisions tighten the prose and clarify the action. He revises some key moments - such as the description of Scaramanga's "golden gun" (p.26) - but the most telling change is the addition of the thee sentences that end the novel, and which perhaps give a telling insight into Fleming's troubled state of mind in his final weeks:
"...At the same time, he knew, deep down, that love from Mary Goodnight, or from any other woman, was not enough for him. It would be like taking 'a room with a view'. For James Bond, the same view would always pall."