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In a unique collaboration between three of Britain’s iconic brands – James Bond, Bentley Motors and Penguin Books – a special, limited edition of the new Bond book Devil May Care will be published on 28th May. Written by Sebastian Faulks at the invitation of Ian Fleming Publications to celebrate the Ian Fleming centenary, Devil May Care is one of the most eagerly anticipated publications of 2008.
Cars and James Bond have always had a strong association and, contrary to popular belief, Bond’s preference has historically been firmly with Bentley Motors. He owned three Bentleys in the course of the fourteen original novels written by Ian Fleming. It is fitting therefore that in Devil May Care – published to coincide with the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth – Bond is found once again in the driving seat of his favourite car.
To mark the reunion, Penguin approached Bentley to produce a luxury, limited edition of Devil May Care. The result is a beautiful and striking edition which takes its inspiration from hard-covers of the original 1950s and 1960s Bond books combined with the stylish Bentley owner’s manuals and handbooks of the era. Inside the book is a specially designed model pewter Bentley, described in detail by Fleming in Thunderball.
Bentley Chief Designer Dirk van Braeckel says, “Transferring our design knowledge from the car world to a book was a new challenge for us, but working closely with Penguin, we think we have come up with a unique product which is complementary to the history of Bentley and Bond that can be appreciated by all.”
Only 300 copies of the Special Series edition will be produced, costing £750 each, available exclusively from the Penguin James Bond books website (www.penguin007.com).
Evoking the feeling of the Cold War period in which Devil May Care is set, the edition is bound in Bodoniana style cases and finished in burnt oak leather sourced from the tannery in Italy which provides the hides for Bentley’s interiors. The iconic Bentley diamond pattern found on the radiator grille and upholstery of modern Bentley’s, is hand-stitched on the leather casing and the front cover and spine is finished with the silver Bentley ‘Flying B’ – the radiator cap of the Bentley’s of Bond’s time.
The inside of the casing is trimmed in deep red hotspur leather and has the striking fluting used on the 1950’s and 1960’s Bentley interior upholstery. Each book has a unique edition number embossed on a black aluminium plate produced the same company that makes the Bentley engine plates.
Fleming described in detail a modified Bentley R type in Thunderball and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which Bond loving called ‘the Locomotive’. The car never existed but, using Fleming’s exact specifications, a cast and polished 1:43 scale model of the car has been hand crafted by Bentley for this edition. The miniature is inserted into the book in a car-shaped hole and is individually numbered to match the plate on the inside cover. Each book is protected by a custom-made Plexiglass slip case, which will be sealed in protective and numbered wrapping.
Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks will be published in hardback by Penguin Books in the UK and by Doubleday in the US on 28 May.