August 28, 2013

MOONRAKER'S GRANVILLE

The Telegraph posted a report that solicitor Christopher Horspool passed away at the age of 72 at the end of May 2013. The obituary included an interesting bit of trivia regarding Ian Fleming and the writing of Moonraker:


"Until moving to London, he still lived in his parents’ hotels, the last of which, the Granville in St Margaret’s Bay on the Kent coast, was the only one that they owned as well as managed. The Horspools continued to attract famous names to a resort they advertised as “being discovered by people whose tastes lie in quiet channels, and lead them to seek in the quietude and charm of this delightful spot a measure of relaxation from the breathless existence of Town”.

One guest was Ian Fleming, to whom Cyril Horspool showed his trick of looking through a pair of U-boat binoculars across the Channel to Calais and “reading the time from the town clock tower” (“you took a surreptitious glance at your watch and added an hour”). Fleming repaid the hospitality by having James Bond and Gala stop at the 'accommodating Granville' for several 'stiff brandies-and-sodas... followed by delicious fried soles and welsh rarebits and coffee' in Moonraker."

Interesting to see what life experiences found their way into Fleming's scenes, including his wonderful descriptions of food (especially in Moonraker!). The rare first edition above is available through Adrian Harrington books.

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