Wikipedia:Peer review/Ian Fleming/archive1

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Ian Fleming[edit]

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This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because I'd like to see it get up to FA status, but I think it still needs a bit of work before it gets there. If anyone could help point the way it would be much appreciated.

Thanks, SchroCat (^@) 23:06, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Brianboulton comments: I have only had time to look at the first few sections. It's a pretty engrossing article, but I think it needs a thorough copyedit if it is to meet FAC prose standards. I have made a few small alterations, and you will find further prose issues mentioned in the list of comments below:_

  • Reconsider your use of display quote boxes. One or two might be OK, but repeated use tends to break up the text unnecessarily. Some of the content, e.g. the "Enigma" memo, should be within the main text. Insofar as boxes are used, they would be better embedded in the text, as with images
    • I've whittled them down to three—and two of those are now embedded. Funnily enough, the Enigma one is the one I'd struggle putting into the main text because of its formatting. I'd prefer to leave it as it is, but if you can suggest a better way of keeping the formatting within the article text, I'd happily follow it. - SchroCat (^@) 20:56, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • In a similar vein, what is the point of the separated Paul Johnson quote? The same words appear in the text.
    • They marked a turning point away from the broadly luke-warm reviews he had received up to that point, into something far more nasty: the pull-out quote just highlights that. Either way, I've removed it. - SchroCat (^@) 08:30, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • It would be interesting to know why Valentine Fleming's name appears on the Glenelg War Memorial. No connection is apparent. Which of the many Glenelgs is this?
    • Took a bit of digging, but now sorted. - SchroCat (^@) 19:08, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The first paragraph of the "Birth and family" section is organised oddly, with the information about Fleming's banker grandfather tacked on to the end after you have dealt with his parents. It also might be worth explaining, in the second paragraph, that Evelyn Fleming became Augustus John's mistress after her husband's death; the present wording rather implies they had a one-night stand.
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 19:08, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "The school was near to the estate of the Bond family..." I question the wording "the Bond family", which implies the one and only. I suggest something like "a family surnamed Bond"
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 19:08, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Paragraphs should not begin with pronouns, e.g. "His mother sent him...". On this issue, when did she "send" him? Wasn't he rather old to be sent places by his mother? I'd also like to know what the purpose was in sending him to this Austrian school.
    • Done the pronoun - I'll add something about the reasons behind it shortly. Yes, she forced him to go - all the major sources agree on this point, as they also agree that Evelyn Fleming was a formidable woman! - SchroCat (^@) 08:30, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Now fully done. - SchroCat (^@) 18:46, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Was it purely coincidence that in quick succession Fleming encountered Phyllis Bottome and Monique Panchaud de Bottomes
    • Yes - both of them whilst he was studying abroad. Phyllis in 1927, Monique in 1930. - SchroCat (^@) 08:30, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Again I'm surprised to find a 24-year-old man breaking off his engagement on the insistence of his mother.
    • So was I, but the major sources all agree that this is what happened. cf. Macintyre: F was "...engaged, briefly, to a young Swiss woman named MPdB, until his mother intervened." - SchroCat (^@) 08:30, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • This kind of meandering sentence needs serious attention: "He applied for entry to the Foreign Office, but failed the examinations and his mother intervened in his affairs to lobby Sir Roderick Jones, head of Reuters News Agency, and in October 1931 he was eventually given a position as a sub-editor and journalist for the Reuters news service."
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 20:56, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "Whilst" tends not to be used these days: "While" is much preferred.
    • Nothing wrong with "whilst" per se (as the word still appears with great regularity in the British media), but I've changed them anyway.
  • Who were Cull & Co.?
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 20:56, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "On 24 May 1939 Fleming had lunch with Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence of the Royal Navy, at the Grill of the Carlton Hotel on Haymarket..." Unnecessary detail. We only need to know that he was recruited by Godfrey.
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 20:56, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Why "lieutenant" (no capital) but "Commander" (with capital)
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 08:30, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Very short sections, e.g. "Operation Golden Eye" should be avoided.
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 08:30, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Repetitions, such as in "In 1942 Fleming formed a specialist unit of commandos, known as No. 30 Commando, or 30 Assault Unit (30AU), a group of specialist intelligence commandos" should be avoided
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 20:56, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Explain the term "trout memo" - don't force readers to use links
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 20:56, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

I hope to be back soon again with more. Brianboulton (talk) 22:49, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Many thanks for doing this—I'll address all your points mostly with edits on the page, but occassionally with a comment here, by way of justification. I've done the straightforward ones, but I'll work on the others shortly too. Cheers - SchroCat (^@) 08:30, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

A few more comments to the beginning of "Writing career":-

  • Re the "Enigma" plot, it is far from clear how the plan as specified in the blue box would obtain details of the Enigma codes used by the German Navy. Rather than using this somewhat ill-written and muddled verbatim text, wouldn't it be better to paraphrase and make the plan clearer? Note also that we don't usually employ wikilinks in quotes – and some of these links, e.g. "German Air Force" look unnecessary anyway.
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 16:29, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Convoluted: "Fleming's niece, Lucy Fleming, stated that the reason given was that..."
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 16:29, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "Again Fleming liaised with Donovan over American involvement in ensuring the Germans did not dominate the seaways." I don't see the point of "Again", and the sentence needs to be slightly recast to avoid the impression that German domination of the seaways was thwarted merely by Fleming's liaison with Donovan.
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 16:29, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "Prior to the Normandy landings, most of the operations were in the Mediterranean". Clarify "the operations" (presumably those of 30AU)
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 16:29, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Why does the next sentence begin "However", which normally implies that a degree of contradiction is to follow? In the same sentence, naming the Marine Hotel is unnecesary overdetailing
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 16:29, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Avoid close repetition of "located"
    • Done. - SchroCat (^@) 16:29, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
  • It might be worth indicating why Fleming was replaced. Was he sacked? If so, why? Was it coincidence that he was replaced on D-Day?
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 09:22, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The section headed "1945–53" is a puzzle. The first paragraph disturbs the chronology of the article by suddenly revealing Fleming's book-collecting - what is the relevance of this information at this point? Surely, it belongs somewhere later in the article. Then, the second paragraph begins "In 1942..." which is again confusing. You need either to reposition some material or perhaps reconsider the section title. Personally, I think the most important thing is to keep the chronology going.
    • See two points down - it's all a bit of a wider issue with this section. - SchroCat (^@) 09:01, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
  • What did Fleming do between 6 June 1944 and his demob date in May 1945?
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 09:22, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The two paragraphs beginning "Fleming married Anne Charteris..." need a complete redraft. At the moment it's difficult to follow the sequence of events. Why start this part of the story with the 1952 marriage, which actually is the last in a sequence of events dating back to the affair with Fleming in the 1930s. And we need to know how she finally came to marry Fleming. Was she divorced from Rothermere, did he die or what?
    • The "1945–53" section was originally titled "Personal life and death". It came after the "Writing" section and included the "Death" part of what is now the "Death and legacy" section. (It looked like this at the time) before the current structure was created as part of the GA process. It's a bit of an awkward one as parts of it don't sit nicely within the chronology (thus the statement about the marriage, followed by the "backstory") and the book collecting. If it sits purely chronologically, we'd have to write about the Fleming-Charteris affair that started in the 1930s, which takes it outside the 1945-3 timeframe. Would re-titling the section again make sense? (Something like "Personal life", or similar?) If not, then would moving the book collection para down to the legacy section work? I've never been too happy with that section either, as there is too much that spills out from the confines of the section title and it's all a bit scrappy! As to the Charteris / Rothermere marriage – it's already in the last para: he divorced her because of her affair with Fleming. - SchroCat (^@) 09:01, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Brianboulton (talk) 16:02, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Many thanks for these. I'll address them all over the next 24 hours or so. Cheers - SchroCat (^@) 16:20, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

My final comments

Writing career
  • This very long section (c. 2400 words) might benefit from subdividion
    • Not done this one yet - I'm trying to think of the best way this may be broken down. Any thoughts? - SchroCat (^@) 13:39, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The habit, previously mentioned, of including non-encyclopedic trivia ("lunch at The Ivy") needs to be curtailed.
    • Done—I was going for richness of detail, but now removed. - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • What book of Peter Fleming's had Cape published?
    • Slight typo there. It should have been books, as PF had written 8 or 9 books before Casino Royale was published. - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't give quite as much detail of the sales performance for Casino Royale. It would be enough to say that the book was successful and had sold out three print runs by the end of May.
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "Sir Fitzroy MacLean was another figure mentioned as a possibility..." Mentioned by whom, and by "a possibility" do you mean a possible model for James Bond?
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • When did Fleming stop working for Kemsley Newspapers? Nothing is specified, but it seems he was still attending meetings at the Sunday Times in 1961.
    • I've added something here. He officially left in 1959 as a full-time employee, but then still wrote for them and attended meetings for a couple of years after that. When he finally finished with them is a bit of a grey area... - SchroCat (^@) 13:17, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Weird wording: "From Russia, with Love uses the lure of a fictional Soviet Spektor decoding machine..." I don't know what meaning is intended here.
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Say what book Scaramanga was in, and clarify that the character was named after Fleming's school acquaintance. Also say what book Sir Hugh Drax appears in.
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Hitler's aide was called Krebs, not Krebbs. Check the spelling for the Bond character.
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "Collard" needs more than just a surname
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think that a literary critique, however strongly worded, can really be called "infamous", which implies villainy and/or skullduggery.
    • It's a moot point that one! ;) Now done, keeping my POV out of it! - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Avoid lapses into passive voice, e.g. "In November 1963, a second non-fiction book was published..."
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "reprint" is not a hyphenated word.
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "In January 1964 Fleming went to Goldeneye for his last holiday..." Well, he didn't know that when he went. Slight rephrase advised
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • What on earth is the relevance of Amis's fee?
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "Fleming biographer" → "Fleming's biographer"
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 12:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Death and legacy
  • I would have expected some minimal detail of the circumstances of Fleming's final heart attack. Where was he, etc - details must be in his biographies
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 13:37, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The deaths of Caspar and Anne Fleming should be noted at the end of the section, as incidental information. The present positioning is inappropriate.
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 13:37, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "During his lifetime, Fleming sold thirty million books and double that amount in the two years following his death." Needs attention, along the lines: "During his lifetime Fleming sold thirty million books; double that number were sold in the two years following his death".
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 13:37, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The information about Saltzman and Broccoli's production of Dr No doesn't belong in "Death and legacy" and has already been given in the previous section.
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 13:37, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • You should delete all the guff about who played Bond in the various films, and the many millions these films made for Eon Productions, in the decades after Fleming's death. This article is about Fleming; it is not a history of the Bond films.
    • I've removed the actor names and reduced it all dramatically. However, I've left in the overall series income and the fact that there have been 24 films to date. This section is about Fleming's legacy and the Eon series is part of that legacy. - SchroCat (^@) 13:37, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "In 2011, Fleming became the first English-language writer to have an international airport named in their honour." You need to recast this sentence, to avoid the clash of "Fleming" and "their".
    • Done - SchroCat (^@) 13:37, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
References

The bibliography is long and impressive, but you need to list separately (as "further reading") those books that are not cited in the article.

  • Done - SchroCat (^@) 08:08, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Overall: It's an interesting subject, but at present I think the article has been put together rather loosely. There is a lot of material of no direct relevance that needs to be removed. Some of the prose falls short of the best standard. A full copyedit from a previously uninvolved editor would be helpful, if one can be found (regrettably I am unable to volunteer. Brianboulton (talk) 21:04, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Many, many thanks for this—your efforts are very much appreciated and I'll address all your points presently. Can you think how I might address what is currently called the "1945–53" section? It's the bit that I am least happy with (I always have been) as it feels like it's just a dumping ground for "other stuff" at the moment. Thanks again - SchroCat (^@) 09:43, 17 May 2012 (UTC)