Blanche Blackwell

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Blanche Blackwell
Blanche Blackwell died 2017.jpg
Born
Blance Lindo

(1912-12-09)9 December 1912
Died8 August 2017(2017-08-08) (aged 104)
Spouse(s)Joseph Blackwell
ChildrenChris Blackwell

Blanche Lindo Blackwell[1] (9 December 1912 – 8 August 2017) was a Jamaican heiress, mother of Chris Blackwell and an inspirational muse to Ian Fleming and Noël Coward.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Blanche Lindo was born on 9 December 1912 in San José, Costa Rica, the daughter of Percival Henriques "Percy" Lindo and Hilda Violet Lindo.[4][5][6][7] She was a product of cousin marriage, both her mother and father descendants of the Lindo family, a Sephardi Jewish family originally from Spain who suffered persecution for their religion and so, became New Christians.

Ultimately, Blackwell's ancestor, Alexandre Lindo, would go onto settle in Kingston, Jamaica in the 18th century and he and his descendants would make their fortune there in the rum and sugarcane industries. The end of slavery cost the Lindo family much of their workforce and years of poor weather combined with Lindo fathering over twenty children further damaged the family's finances. By the time Blanche Lindo was born, her parents had taken back control of their financial situation by investing in banana plantations in Costa Rica and the family returned to Jamaica not long after her birth.[8] She was educated there by private tutor until, at sixteen, she was sent to Garrett Hall to further her studies. She wed Joseph Blackwell, of the Crosse and Blackwell fortune, in 1936 and the their only child, Christopher Gordon Percy Blackwell, was born the following year.[9]

Relationship with Ian Fleming[edit]

During her life Blanche Blackwell became known for her role as friend, mistress and muse to Ian Fleming[10] who lived nearby in Jamaica. On first meeting Fleming at a dinner party the two did not immediately hit it off, but their friendship developed into a deeper and creative one.[11]

Fleming's marriage to Ann Charteris had suffered owing to her disapproval of the James Bond novels, and she was often away from the couple's home in Jamaica.[12] Blackwell is believed by some to have been the inspiration for some of Fleming’s most memorable female characters; Pussy Galore and Honeychile Rider.[13][3] Her brother sold land to Coward for his Jamaican houses.[2]

She became friends with prominent figures and celebrities of the time including Errol Flynn, whom she met when he was holidaying in Jamaica.[3] She continued to be involved with her son's life and work, hosting parties and giving advice.[14]

Death[edit]

Blackwell died in London on 8 August 2017 at the age of 104.[15][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Berger, Doreen. BLANCHE LINDO BLACKWELL.
  2. ^ a b Hoare, Philip (22 May 1998). Noel Coward: A Biography. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226345123.
  3. ^ a b c Schudel, Matt (12 August 2017). "Mistress and muse of James Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, dies at 104". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Blanche Blackwell, Ian Fleming's mistress – obituary". The Telegraph. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  5. ^ Berger, Doreen. BLANCHE LINDO BLACKWELL.
  6. ^ Thomson, Ian (2017-08-29). "Blanche Blackwell obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  7. ^ Jackie, Ranston (2000). The Lindo legacy. London: Toucan Books. ISBN 1903435005. OCLC 44534048.
  8. ^ "Blanche Blackwell, the Jamaican heiress who was Ian Fleming's lover, was far more substantial than a Bond Girl". The Vintage News. 2017-12-18. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  9. ^ Thomson, Ian (2017-08-29). "Blanche Blackwell obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  10. ^ "Blanche Blackwell". The Times. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  11. ^ Lycett, Andrew (25 October 2012). Ian Fleming. Orion Publishing Group. ISBN 9781780225531.
  12. ^ Thomson, Ian (29 August 2017). "Blanche Blackwell obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  13. ^ a b "In Passing". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  14. ^ "The Barefoot Mogul". Men's Journal. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  15. ^ Limited, Jamaica Observer. "Chris Blackwell's mom, Blanche passes at 104". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 13 August 2017.