Diamonds are Forever by Ian Fleming, First Edition, First Printing, Later Dust Jacket, 1956

Fleming, Ian. Diamonds are Forever. London: Jonathan Cape, 1956. First edition, first printing. Octavo, in original black cloth boards with silver lettering to spine and diamond on the cover. Later dust jacket.  Presented in a spectacular quarter leather clamshell case.

This is the first edition, first printing of Ian Fleming’s fourth James Bond novel, Diamonds are Forever. The book was first published by Jonathan Cape in London on March 26, 1956, with a cover designed by Pat Marriott. The book tracks 007 as he infiltrates the deadly world of diamond smuggling, tracking smugglers from Sierra Leone to the United States. Fleming wrote the story at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica, inspired by a Sunday Times article on diamond smuggling. 

As with the three previous Bond books, the first edition of 12,500 copies sold out quickly. The novel was serialized in The Daily Express newspaper in April 1956 onwards. It was the first novel Fleming sold to the newspaper, a decision that led to an overall rise in the novel’s sales. Book sales were also assisted by press in November 1956, following the visit of Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden to Fleming's Goldeneye estate to recuperate following the Suez Crisis. In 1971, Diamonds Are Forever was produced for the big screen, starring Sean Connery and Guy Hamilton.

Ian Fleming (1908–1964) was an intelligence officer, journalist, and creator of the fictional British Secret service agent James Bond. Beginning in 1939 he served as a liaison between the Navy and the other secret services, where he was privy to the highest levels of intelligence and became known for his creativity in planning operations, work that inspired his later novels.

After the war, Fleming became a journalist and in 1953 published his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. It was a success, and Fleming wrote a new book each year until his untimely death in 1964.


A stunning "one off" Bond collectible. Book is in excellent condition. First edition, first printing with "First published 1956" on copyright page, "Boofy" on page 134 and "Beverley Hills" on page 206. Original black cloth boards with silver lettering on spine and diamond on cover. Internally, the original pages are clean with publisher and title page intact. Only slight shelf wear, light  foxing to edges as well as the borders of the first several and last several pages, soiling to page 38 and 40, otherwise very good. Jacket is later (c. 1959) with blurb for Goldfinger and priced 16s.

The book is housed in a matching quarter Moroccan leather and black cloth clamshell case. Clamshell’s spine has raised bands, gilt tooling, and gilt titles. The front of the clamshell features an inlaid print of the original "Diamonds are Forever'' dust jacket art. Interior of the clamshell has an embossed Ian Fleming facsimile signature stamp. Dimensions: Book: 7 3/4" H x 5 1/4" W x 1 1/8" D. Clamshell: 8 3/4" H x 6 3/8" W x 2" D. 

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