Today’s top item in Book News: Ian Fleming’s racy love letters to his Australian inamorata Edith Morpurgo are being offered for sale by a rare book dealer in the U.K. I was just hoping for some awkward canoodling with the sheets pulled all the way up — but according to bookseller Peter Harrington, one letter — originally written in German because OF COURSE — reads: “If I were to say ‘love’ you would only argue, and then I would have to whip you and you would cry and I don’t want that. I only want for you to be happy. But I would also like to hurt you because you have earned it and in order to tame you like a little wild animal. So be careful, you.”
This goes against every rule of cover art I have (other than, I suppose, “attractive women are a plus”) but heaven help me if I don’t absolutely love this Croatian edition of Moonraker.
The cover depicts Gala Brand (a character who never made it to the filmed version) inside Drax’s rocket shaft, staring up at the titular vessel of death. Made up and dressed in period wear to reflect the original publication time of the book, model Ana Kurobasa (first runner-up of the 2008 Croatian Miss Universe pageant) is every inch the 1950s British Special Branch agent of the novel, specifically the 38-26-38 inches Fleming specified.
Fun Fact: Gala Brand is the only significant Bond Girl Fleming wrote who never made it to the screen, and also the only one who resisted his advances. No word on if these two facts are connected.