Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 13:34 UK

Fleming letters raise thousands

Ian Fleming
The collection had been expected to fetch 3,000

Letters between James Bond author Ian Fleming and his "Miss Moneypenny" have fetched 14,340 at auction - almost five times more than expected.

The collection, which included four letters signed by Ian Fleming and an annotated invoice with his initials, were sold by Dorset auctioneers Duke's.

The letters showed a close relationship with Jean Frampton, a secretary hired to type his 007 manuscripts.

They also mentioned books including Thunderball and Live and Let Die.

Interest in the correspondence had been high in the centenary year of Fleming's birth.

Plot suggestions

In March 1960, Fleming wrote to Mrs Frampton, telling her about his novel Thunderball.

"I am afraid this is not a good transcript," he wrote. "I would be deeply obliged if you could apply your keen mind to any points."

As well as his typist she was an editor as such, and she was the first person to read the books
Amy Brenan
Assistant auctioneer

Mrs Frampton, who never met Fleming, was clearly interested in the spy's adventures, and asked Fleming: "I still regret the end of Thunderball. What about Blofeld or does he live to fight another day?"

Assistant auctioneer Amy Brenan said: "Mrs Frampton was actually an intelligent lady who had a French degree which she kept secret from her family.

"She had lots of attributes like that and she enjoyed reading the novels as she was typing them.

"Her interest led her to make suggestions to the plot, for her to make alterations, and Fleming actually welcomed it.

"As well as his typist she was an editor as such, and she was the first person to read the books.

"You can look on her as Ian Fleming's Miss Moneypenny," she added, referring to the character played by Lois Maxwell in the James Bond films.

Included in the sale were a number of letters which Mrs Frampton wrote to Fleming's secretaries, Una Trueblood and Beryl Griffie-Williams.

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