Penguin Decades is scheduled to reissue From Russia with Love in paperback this coming April.
So this seemed a good time to look back at a particular point in the original. No, not the 1957 Jonathan Cape first edition; even further back than that.
On December 7, 2009, I was once again on the campus of Indiana University at Bloomington and, more particularly, spent the day in its spectacular Lilly Library. There in its archives are preserved most of the original James Bond manuscripts — featuring the very pages as they came out of Ian Fleming’s Imperial portable typewriter at Goldeneye in Jamaica.
Back there, “Donovan Grant” started out with a somewhat different name.
Here’s how the second-to-last paragraph of Chapter 1 then-read, on what came to be hand-numbered as page 7.
“His real name was Donegal Grant, or ‘Red’ Grant. But for the past ten years it had been Kurt Granitski, with the code-name of ‘Granit.’ The letter “R” in “Red” is what typing teachers used to call “a flying cap.” And Mr. Fleming’s style was to put the closing single-quote-mark before the period in his sentence.
The two revisions we now have in publication appear on this page.
“Donegal” became “Donovan,” and “Kurt” gave way to “Krassno.” Both were written-in by hand, above the lines (available thanks to double-spacing), with upward-pointing arrows below.
At some point the script handwriting for Krassno must have been felt unclear. In the space below, KRASSNO is repeated in block-lettering, all capitals, enclosed in a circle and attached to a line referencing the paragraph to which it associates.