Ian Fleming’s Thunderball (Pan 14th edition)
When the fourth James Bond film, Thunderball, arrived in theatres in 1965, ‘Bondmania’ was truly at an all time high. Remaining today the most successful 007 film box-office wise, it is no surprise that companies were releasing an abundance of tie-in merchandise to capitalize on the film’s release.
One of these products was the film tie-in edition of Ian Fleming’s original novel by Pan. This special edition of the book (the 14th reset printing; Pan X201) featured a new cover with images from the film adaptation as well as one unique collector’s item: a personal letter from Domino to Bond.
Domino’s letter to James Bond (front and back)
Acting as a promotional piece for Players Cigarettes, the double-sided letter by Domino is based off of a conversation the two had over dinner on pages 152-155 in this particular edition of Thunderball, where she tells Bond of her one true love and the man of her dreams: the sailor on the front of the packet of Players.
The man of Domino’s dreams
This letter only came with this single printing of Thunderball by Pan. Unsurprisingly, many of the letters were lost or discarded throughout the decades that followed, making it a much sought after item for James Bond collectors.
As a side note, this item is referenced briefly in 2002’s Die Another Day: when Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and Q (John Cleese) are discussing the Aston Martin Vanquish, a Players Cigarettes poster can be seen hanging on the wall behind the car.
The full text of the letter follows below:
I wondered at first whether I should write this letter, but I know you will understand. It hardly seems possible that we could be so far apart after what happened.
Carlo is kind. Of course I love him, and the children make up for everything.
But once in a while I remember… our first drive… our first supper together in the Casino. You ordered Champagne. And I told you about my hero – the sailor on the front of the packet of Players. (I believe you were jealous!)
This Christmas we’re coming to London. I know you’re terribly busy, but couldn’t you just find one spare evening when we could meet and talk and laugh about old times?
Do please say yes. And don’t let that horrible old ‘M’ give you any assignment over the holiday.
I think of you –
P.S. Came across this book in Nassau yesterday. You must read pages 152 – 155.
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