Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Stayin' Alive...

Interesting (to me) to see the lengths to which heirs to literary franchises will push to keep the story (and no doubt the money,) rolling. The history of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate is an amazing read. Here is how it begins...

The author had left his literary works in Trust. One of the Trustees was Fides Union Fiduciaire, a Swiss company, famous for protecting wealthy people from tax liabilities.

By the late Sixties, the only surviving heirs to his Estate were his daughter Dame Jean Bromet, Princess Nina Mdivani, the widow of his son Dennis who had remarried her husband's secretary Anthony Harwood, and Anna Conan Doyle, Adrian's widow.

These three ladies, who were equal beneficiaries, did not get along at all. They were constantly arguing and involving themselves in litigation. Their dislike of Fides Union Fiduciaire seemed to be their only common denominator.

Now, Ian Fleming Publications is looking to extend the franchise and the result is Silverfin - Book One : The Young James Bond Series, by Charlie Higson.
MI6, a site devoted to Bond, has a report.

"I was approached by Ian Fleming Publications, which is largely run by Ian Fleming's nieces. They were thinking where else they could possibly take the character; it is quite hard doing adult continuation novels, and so they came up with the idea of going back in time. If you could write some good books for kids, they would then want to progress to the adult books.
...In SilverFin, 13-year-old James is at Eton, where he has a rivalry with a vicious American fellow schoolboy, George Hellebore. Then, staying with his aunt Charmian in Scotland for the holidays, James becomes aware of the mysterious disappearance of a boy close to a nearby castle where Hellebore's father lives.

No comments: