Wikipedia:Peer review/Ian Fleming/archive1
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.
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.
- 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?
- 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.
- "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"
- 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
- Again I'm surprised to find a 24-year-old man breaking off his engagement on the insistence of his mother.
- 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."
- "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.?
- "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.
- Why "lieutenant" (no capital) but "Commander" (with capital)
- Very short sections, e.g. "Operation Golden Eye" should be avoided.
- 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
- Explain the term "trout memo" - don't force readers to use links
- 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.
- Convoluted: "Fleming's niece, Lucy Fleming, stated that the reason given was that..."
- "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.
- "Prior to the Normandy landings, most of the operations were in the Mediterranean". Clarify "the operations" (presumably those of 30AU)
- 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
- Avoid close repetition of "located"
- 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?
- 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.
- What did Fleming do between 6 June 1944 and his demob date in May 1945?
- 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)
- 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
- The habit, previously mentioned, of including non-encyclopedic trivia ("lunch at The Ivy") needs to be curtailed.
- What book of Peter Fleming's had Cape published?
- 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.
- "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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hitler's aide was called Krebs, not Krebbs. Check the spelling for the Bond character.
- "Collard" needs more than just a surname
- I don't think that a literary critique, however strongly worded, can really be called "infamous", which implies villainy and/or skullduggery.
- Avoid lapses into passive voice, e.g. "In November 1963, a second non-fiction book was published..."
- "reprint" is not a hyphenated word.
- "In January 1964 Fleming went to Goldeneye for his last holiday..." Well, he didn't know that when he went. Slight rephrase advised
- What on earth is the relevance of Amis's fee?
- "Fleming biographer" → "Fleming's biographer"
- 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
- The deaths of Caspar and Anne Fleming should be noted at the end of the section, as incidental information. The present positioning is inappropriate.
- "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".
- 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.
- 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.
- "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".
The bibliography is long and impressive, but you need to list separately (as "further reading") those books that are not cited in the article.
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)