Ian Fleming’s Right Hand Man: The Late Peter Janson-Smith

Peter Janson-Smith, who was the literary agent to Ian Fleming, passed away on April 15, 2016, at the age of 93. After Fleming’s death, Peter became the chairman of Glidrose Publications (now Ian Fleming Publications) and was directly responsible for hiring new authors to write new Bond novels. We pay tribute to him with various recollections from around the Bond fraternity.

Peter Janson-Smith

Peter Janson-Smith

“I first met Peter Janson-Smith some 20 years ago when, as a member of The Ian Fleming Foundation, I was invited to help sort through and organize the archives of Glidrose Publications, now known as Ian Fleming Publications. Since then, during my almost annual visits to England, I would never miss an opportunity to visit with Peter and his lovely wife Lili. As a humble Bond fan, I have always felt extremely honored to count them both among my closest friends. I last saw them October 2015, during Spectre premiere week in London. It was bittersweet, as Peter’s health was seriously declining by then, and I knew that I would probably never see him again.”- Brad Frank, The Ian Fleming Foundation

“When I approached Peter in the early 1980s as a wide-eyed collector of all things Ian Fleming, Peter took me under his wing, introduced me to Nichol Fleming (Ian’s nephew), and encouraged my collecting habits. When I got the idea to start The Ian Fleming Foundation in 1991, Peter embraced it wholeheartedly and supported and advised us. Peter was an amazing British gentleman in all aspects of the expression. But, most importantly, Peter was my friend. He will be greatly missed but he will never be forgotten.” – Mike VanBlaricum, The Ian Fleming Foundation

“I am crushed. I cannot convey in words how devastated I am in the loss of my dear, dear Peter. He was like a father to me. Even though there was time to prepare, one is never really prepared to accept the loss of someone you love with all your heart. I feel broken. Peter … until we meet again.” – Doug Redenius, The Ian Fleming Foundation

photo: Raymond Benson, Doug Redenius (VP of the Ian Fleming Foundation), and Peter Janson-Smith in London.

photo: Raymond Benson, Doug Redenius (VP of the Ian Fleming Foundation), and Peter Janson-Smith in London.

“Having had the privilege and great pleasure to spend some time with Peter in recent years (first met him in 2005) I can only say he was one of the kindest and loveliest people I have ever met. Much like everyone said at the Celebration in London I think Peter was a remarkable person with a great sense of humour, one of many unsung heroes behind the 007 phenomenon, and a real European as I fondly remember his tales of coming to Stockholm and contracting Albert Bonnier as the publisher of Ian’s books in Sweden. Will never forget him as he will be greatly missed.” – Anders Frejdh, From Sweden With Love


Anders and Peter, 2012

“The news of Peter’s death is very sad.   His custodianship of the Fleming literary legacy was long and dedicated and impressive and as a man of integrity and easy company he formed close friendships with many writers, publishers, collectors and other significant people within the world of Bond, all of whom will mourn his death.   With his handsome head of hair and his somewhat angry bird looks, he cut a striking figure, but forbidding he wasn’t, and nothing was more enjoyable than spending time with Peter reminiscing about the early days.” – Kate Grimond, Ian Fleming Publications

“Peter, who hired me to write James Bond novels in the mid-90s, was a mentor, a teacher, a friend, and someone I called my ‘English dad.’ Peter had a long, distinguished career as a literary agent in England. He was Ian Fleming’s agent as well as Eric Ambler’s and many other great authors. He sold Anthony Burgess’ ‘Clockwork Orange.’ He was the trustee for Winnie the Pooh. So many accomplishments, too many to name here. I will miss him terribly. Thank you, Peter, for everything you did for me, and for everything you did to better our world.” – Raymond Benson, Former James Bond continuation writer

Incidental Intelligence

Read Raymond Benson’s in-depth biography of Peter Janson-Smith here: http://commanderbond.net/9854/classified-dossier-james-bonds-literary-agent.html

Peter Janson-Smith Obituary (The Bookseller)

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