In 1952, Ian Fleming bought a gold-plated typewriter as a present to himself for finishing his first novel, ‘Casino Royale’. It marked in glamorous style the arrival of James Bond, agent 007, and the start of a career that saw Fleming become one of the world’s most celebrated thriller-writers. It also inaugurated a ceaseless flow of letters. Full of wit, humour and occasional despair, his letters offer an intimate portrait of a literary phenomenon. Here, in his own words, is the man behind the legend.