Fleming had been planning to write a 15th 007 novel, to follow “The Man With The Golden Gun” and he sought assistance from his old friend Geoffrey Jenkins who would be able to advise Fleming about the setting for his latest novel: South Africa.
Of the author, Fleming once said:
“Geoffrey Jenkins has the supreme gift of originality. A Twist of Sand is a literate, imaginative first novel in the tradition of high and original adventure.”
Ian Fleming would never write that novel and it is considered the “most famous unpublished book in the world,”
Jenkins was approached by Glidrose Publications (now Ian Fleming Publications) to write a James Bond continuation novel, using the source material he had gathered for Fleming. After a drawn-out period in which Ann Fleming considered and eventually granted permission for Jenkins to take over 007 in ink, the author penned a manuscript. This was intended to be the first Bond continuation novel, entitled “Per Fine Ounce” but when the manuscript was presented to the Glidrose board, it was rejected. Only 18 pages survive in the hands of the Jenkins estate.
The name comes from a Troy ounce of not quite pure gold. Jenkins’ synopsis found by John Pearson in Fleming’s papers featured gold bicycle chains, baobab tree coffins and the magical Lake Fundudzi – presumably, Jenkins used some or all of these elements in the book itself. Four draft pages of the manuscript were discovered in 2005, in which the Double-O Section has been closed down and James Bond defies M on a matter of principle, resigning from MI6 to pursue his mission in South Africa alone.
For the definitive article on this topic, read ‘James Bond in South Africa’ by Jeremy Duns