London: Neville Spearman, Holland Press, 1964. Item #03719
Double O Seven, James Bond, A Report
"The Only Such Title Personally Authorized by Ian Fleming"
Inscribed by the Author to Antiquarian Bookseller Sam Joseph
SNELLING, O[swald].F[rederick]. [FLEMING, Ian]. Double O Seven James Bond: A Report. London: Neville Spearman, Holland Press, .
First edition, first printing, inscribed by the author to antiquarian bookseller Sam Joseph.
Octavo (8 7/16 x 5 3/8 inches; 215 x 136 mm.). 160 pp.
Publisher's black textured paper over boards, spine lettered in silver. A very fine copy in the original color pictorial dust jacket (minimal darkening to spine).
Inscribed on the front free end-paper "To Sam Joseph ----- / in "Bondage", / like me. to / Ian Fleming. / O.F. Snelling / Aug. 1964"
"A more serious critique on the life and times of suave secret agent James Bond, which, unlike Kingsley Amis' 'The James Bond Dossier', was not a particularly commercial book when released and is now a rather elusive piece of Bondiana." (Gilbert, Jon; Ian Fleming: The Bibliography page 610).
Oswald Frederick Snelling (1916-2001) is best known for his 1964 bestseller, Double O Seven, James Bond, A Report, and is also noted for his books and articles on boxing and British thriller writers. Snelling began his working life as an illustrator of books. After serving in the British Army in World War II, he wrote book reviews, film criticism and articles on sports for magazines such as The Leader and Band Wagon. He wrote three books under the pen-name "Oswald Frederick” including a quiz book, Fight Quiz (1946), and two boxer biographies, Battling Bruce: The Fighting Career and Rise to Fame of Bruce Woodcock (1946) and White Hope: The Story of the Jack Johnson Era (1947).
Needing more secure employment, Snelling took a job in the antiquarian book trade, working first as a clerk at Hodgson's in 1949, later Sotheby's Rare Book Department, and became Chief Clerk until the firm was closed in 1981.
It was there he met author Ian Fleming, assisting him in research for the James Bond novels. Snelling is best known for his 1964 analysis of the James Bond books, Double O Seven, James Bond, A Report, the only such title personally authorized by Ian Fleming. Part of the book’s initial success was that its publication roughly coincided with the death of Fleming in August 1964 and included footnotes discussing the recently issued Bond novel, You Only Live Twice. Focused on the literary 007 with passing mentions of the first Sean Connery films, Snelling examined the predecessors to Bond, his adversaries, and especially the women in the novels. Knowing novelist Kingsley Amis was also working on a similar study (published as The James Bond Dossier in 1965), Snelling rushed out his book to compete with Amis, and the two titles have been frequently compared ever since as the earliest serious studies of the James Bond phenomena. Snelling’s title sold over a million copies, appeared in French, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, and Israeli editions and translations, and it came out in the United States in 1965 under the imprint of the New American Library, Ian Fleming's own publishers.
Sam Joseph (1895-1985) was an antiquarian bookseller who together with his older brother Jack ran E. Joseph at 48a Charing Cross Road. Sam and Fred Snelling were good friends and shared a passion for Ian Fleming's James Bond novels.