|On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1st edition cover)|
|Hardback:||(UK) 1963 (U.S.) 1963|
|Paperback:||(UK) 1964 (U.S.) 1964|
|Preceded by:||The Spy Who Loved Me|
|Followed by:||You Only Live Twice|
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the tenth James Bond novel—and eleventh book—by Ian Fleming, published in 1963. In 1969, it was produced as the sixth film in the James Bond movie series, and the first and only film starring George Lazenby as James Bond. Lazenby was the second official James Bond, the first having been Sean Connery. On Her Majesty's Secret Service was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and made by EON Productions.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is considered the second book in what is known as the 'Blofeld Trilogy', which, resumes from Thunderball after the interlude novel The Spy Who Loved Me, and concludes with You Only Live Twice.
For more than a year, James Bond, British secret agent 007, has been trailing the private criminal organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and its leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in 'Operation Bedlam'. This pursuit is partially described in The Spy Who Loved Me, where Bond explains to Vivienne Michel the aftermath of 'Operation Thunderball' and the escape of Blofeld. By the time of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond is convinced S.P.E.C.T.R.E. no longer exists. Frustrated by his inability to find Blofeld, Bond composes a letter of resignation for M. Meanwhile, Bond encounters a suicidal, beautiful, young woman named and interrupts her attempted suicide (by drowning).
This woman, Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo ('Tracy' to her friends) is the daughter of Marc-Ange Draco, head of the Union Corse, the biggest European crime syndicate. Her father believes the only way to save his daughter is for Bond to marry her. To facilitate this, he offers Bond a great dowry—as well as Blofeld's whereabouts; Bond refuses the offer, but agrees to continue romancing Tracy while her mental health improves.
Draco informs Bond that Blofeld has been hiding in Switzerland; upon further investigation, Bond discovers he has assumed the title and name Comte Balthazar de Bleuville. Blofeld has undergone plastic surgery to physically pass as heir of the de Bleuville bloodline—to the degree that he has asked the London College of Arms to declare him the reigning count. Impersonating a College of Arms representative, Sir Hilary Bray, Bond infiltrates Blofeld's lair atop Piz Gloria and finally meets Blofeld.
At Piz Gloria, Bond learns Blofeld has been curing a group of young British and European women of their livestock and food allergies. In truth, Blofeld and his homely aide, Irma Bunt, have been brainwashing them into carrying biological warfare agents back to Britain and their home countries in order to destroy Britain's agriculture economy, upon which post-World War II Britain depends.
Believing himself discovered, Bond escapes by ski from Piz Gloria and encounters Tracy, who helps him escape S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Smitten by the resourceful, headstrong woman, he proposes marriage, and she accepts.
Helped by Draco's Union Corse, Bond mounts an air assault against the clinic and Blofeld, who escapes—later avenging himself on James and Tracy Bond moments after their wedding.
The book was the first James Bond novel published after the start of the official film series. In tribute, Fleming mentions Dr. No co-star Ursula Andress by name in one chapter describing her as a beautiful movie star. Ian Fleming also pays tribute to the first official James Bond, Sean Connery, by stating that 007's surname as well as his father, was Scottish.
Comic strip adaptation
Ian Fleming's 1963 novel was adapted as a daily comic strip published in the British Daily Express newspaper, and syndicated worldwide. Possibly the longest James Bond novel adaptation, the strip ran for nearly a year, from June 29, 1964 to May 17, 1965. The adaptation, which revived the comic strip after a two-year hiatus, was written by Henry Gammidge and illustrated by John McLusky; it has been reprinted by Titan Books in 2004.
|The James Bond novels|
|Ian Fleming (1953-1966)|
Casino Royale -- Live and Let Die -- Moonraker -- Diamonds Are Forever -- From Russia with Love -- Dr. No -- Goldfinger -- For Your Eyes Only -- Thunderball -- The Spy Who Loved Me -- On Her Majesty's Secret Service -- You Only Live Twice -- The Man with the Golden Gun -- Octopussy and The Living Daylights
Kingsley Amis (1968)
John Gardner (1981-1996)
Sebastian Faulks (2008)
Jeffery Deaver (2011)