Edward Morgan Forster OM, CH (1879 – 1970) was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Forster’s humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: “Only connect … “. His 1908 novel, A Room with a View, is his most optimistic work, while A Passage to India (1924) brought him his greatest success.
Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908 – 1964) was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer, best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co., and his father was the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 until his death on the Western Front in 1917. Educated at Eton, Sandhurst and the universities of Munich and Geneva, Fleming moved through a number of jobs before he started writing.
While working for Britain’s Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War, Fleming was involved in planning Operation Goldeneye and in the planning and oversight of two intelligence units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force. His wartime service and his career as a journalist provided much of the background, detail and depth of the James Bond novels.
Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952. It was a success, with three print runs being commissioned to cope with the demand. Eleven Bond novels and two short-story collections followed between 1953 and 1966. The novels revolved around James Bond, an officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond was also known by his code number, 007, and was a commander in the Royal Naval Reserve. The Bond stories rank among the best-selling series of fictional books of all time, having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming also wrote the children’s story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two works of non-fiction. In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming fourteenth on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.
He was married to Ann Charteris, who was divorced from the second Viscount Rothermere as a result of her affair with Fleming. Fleming and Charteris had a son, Caspar. Fleming was a heavy smoker and drinker who suffered from heart disease; he died in 1964, aged 56, from a heart attack. Two of his James Bond books were published posthumously, and others have since produced Bond novels. Fleming’s creation has appeared in film twenty-five times, portrayed by seven actors.
Both authors travelled widely and this informed their writing.
Fleming studied in Austria, Munich and Geneva, spent some time in Moscow and also travelled as part of his war service.
Forster travelled extensively in Europe, Egypt and, of course, India.
Travel is a great aid for authors, whether they write non-fictional accounts or novels set in the places they visit. There is a lot to be said for the opportunity to see a place as an outsider.
Here are a few of the other bloggers who are taking part in the A-Z Challenge:
- Sue’s Trifles is posting about musical instruments.
- Alison Runham‘s theme is adjectives.
- Elizabeth Hein of Scribbling in the Storage Room is peeking into the research behind her book, How to Climb the Eiffel Tower, due for release shortly.
- David Robinson‘s posts seem to be about books, writing and other things.
- Silvia Villalobos is posting about Romania.
- Damyanti of Daily Write has written some amazing stories.
- Suzanne of The Tales of Missus P. is posting about 80s and 90s television shows.
- Jerusalem girl is posting about 25 years of living in Israel.
- Karen Jones Gowen is giving us some insights into her new life in Guatemala.