The Story Behind ‘Per Fine Ounce’

3dOriginal version of “Per Fine Ounce” by Geoffrey Jenkins Historical Background and Two-Page Extract of “Missing” James Bond novel:

Glidrose Productions (now Ian Fleming Publications) planned for a series of James Bond novels to be published under the pseudonym of Robert Markham. Celebrated South African novelist and award-winning Sunday Times correspondent Geoffrey Jenkins was asked to write an original James Bond 007 novel by Glidrose in 1966, following on from The Man with the Golden Gun. Ian Fleming wrote at the time, “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.” Jenkins and Fleming had talked about a diamond-smuggling storyline based in South Africa, which Jenkins later penned for Glidrose entitled “Per Fine Ounce.” Despite the promising Bond storyline, and the fact that Jenkins was a best-selling thriller writer in the Fleming mould, along with being a friend and colleague of Fleming’s, Glidrose rejected Jenkins’ draft manuscript after Fleming passed away.

Much speculation has ensued over the years about the reasons for this rejection, and why the manuscript was never published and seemingly “lost” by Glidrose. However, it emerged that the original manuscript for Jenkins’ “Per Fine Ounce” has not been lost but in fact extracts remain in the possession of Geoffrey’s son, David, who has given his consent for the following two-pages to be published from the original “Per Fine Ounce” novel, and for Peter Vollmer’s version to be published.

This shares the same title and is written in the same style, taking its lead from the original manuscript and endorsed by the Jenkins Estate. The author, Peter Vollmer, has removed any references to the Bond characters to differentiate this version from the Ian Fleming Publications, and hopes this version will further encourage the Ian Fleming Foundation to publish the original version of “Per Fine Ounce” as written by Geoffrey Jenkins, or give the Jenkins estate the right to do so for James Bond readers around the world to decide for themselves whether the original version of “Per Fine Ounce” merited publication nearly 50 years ago.

Author’s Note On the next two pages are original extracts (pgs. 86 & 87) from the “missing” James Bond 007 novel PER FINE OUNCE by Geoffrey Jenkins (printed with full permission from the Jenkins family estate).