An important new volume about the legal disputes involving ‘Thunderball’.
— CinemaRetro
I personally found this book very enlightening and having read the excellent ‘The Battle For Bond’ a far more intimate and ‘family’ orientated account of the whole highly interesting saga. Wonderful value.
— Amazon Customer

The Thunderball Story

by Sylvan Whittingham Mason

This limited edition chronology is personally signed by Jack Whittingham's daughter, Sylvan —one of the few people left alive who were there at the time— and provides a concise insight into the history of the very first James Bond screenplay.

«My aim with this book is to present my fathers enormous contribution to the 007 phenomenon in a simple, clear way that, not just the serious James Bond aficionado who is happy to trawl through some 400 pages of small writing while enjoying it, but for everybody who finds it hard to grasp this somewhat complex tale. I have been asked so many times to explain what happened and I always start off by saying "I'll keep this as brief as I can” but before I am halfway through the story, eyes start to glaze over, and very few people actually understand that Ian Fleming did not write the Thunderball novel or the Thunderball screenplay, and the character of Bond in his books was not the same character that appeared in the films, though he did bear the same name. One of my closest friends remarked recently after reading my book, “At last I see clearly exactly what happened!”», says Sylvan.

Described by CinemaRetro’s Mark Cerulli as “a fascinating look at one of the more obscure, but important aspects of the James Bond Phenomenon”, this book is a must-have for fans and collectors.

A great detailed diary synopsis of the facts. Easy to read and signed by the author.
— AN (
Exciting real life story of the courtroom battle for Bond. Beautifully written by Sylvan Whittingham Mason, the daughter of Screenwriter, Jack Whittingham, who with Producer Kevin McClory , fought Ian Fleming for the ownership of the Thunderball story and won. A must-read for all Bond enthusiasts and all who enjoy an intriguing courtroom drama.
— Sara Leighton (English society portrait painter, author, actress and personality)
Ian Fleming’s rise from newspaper journalist to worldwide best-selling author was not all jet-setting glamour. In the early 60’s, with the Bond literary series well underway, Fleming was involved in a gruelling legal battle regarding his novel, Thunderball – which later became the record-breaking 1965 EON film. The strain of the trial may well have contributed to Fleming’s death the following year at the relatively young age of 56…

Now the daughter of the original screenwriter, Jack Whittingham, has compiled a unique chronology of the entire episode titled, appropriately enough, “The Thunderball Story.” Sylvan Mason, an accomplished writer and photographer in her own right, has produced a spiral-bound, limited edition booklet of the behind-the-scenes battle that played out in British courts in 1963 and gave producer Kevin McClory the right to remake the story, eventually resulting in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.

Ms. Mason’s book reproduces a number of critical documents and photographs, including letters, a UK premiere ticket and headlines from newspapers of the day. There is also a highly detailed timeline from 1959 to 2003, encompassing all facets of the Thunderball story. All in all, it is a fascinating look at one of the more obscure, but essential aspects
of the James Bond phenomenon – and given its limited edition status, once they’re gone, they’re gone!

If you are a Bond collector, order it!”
— By Mark Cerulli for "Cinema Retro" on Friday, February 8 2019

About the author

Sylvan Whittingham Mason

Freelance photographer Sylvan Mason trained in London with one-time exclusive Beatles photographer Dezo Hoffmann.

It was Sylvan’s screenwriter father, the late Jack Whittingham (who wrote the original story and screenplay of the Bond movie Thunderball), who first introduced her to photography with the gift of a Box Brownie Camera on her 8th birthday.

During the past 25 years, she has become well kwon for her work in England, specialising in portraits of people in society, show business, theatre and sports. The list includes exclusive photographs of HRH Prince Charles reading his books The Old Man of Lochnagar for BBC World Service.

Her picture of Björn Borg became a major advertisement for Wilkinson Sword.