Monday, November 9, 2015

The Real James Bond

The new James Bond Movie Spectre was recently released. As always, I'm dying to see the latest Bond flick! I love all the non-stop action and adventure. Oh, and let's not forget Daniel Craig--he's wonderful as Bond! But just who was the "real" James Bond? Although a fictional character, was he based on the most exciting, fearless, charming and most handsome man that ever lived? Check out the article below from Wikipedia to find out just how Ian Fleming was inspired to create Bond, James Bond...

Ian Fleming's image of James Bond; 
commissioned to aid the Daily Express comic strip artists.
As the central figure for his works, Ian Fleming created the fictional character of James Bond, an intelligence officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond was also known by his code number, 007, and was a Royal Naval Reserve Commander.
Fleming based his fictional creation on a number of individuals he came across during his time in the Naval Intelligence Division during World War II, admitting that Bond "was a compound of all the secret agents and commando types I met during the war." Among those types were his brother, Peter, who had been involved in behind-the-lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war.[2] Aside from Fleming's brother, a number of others also provided some aspects of Bond's make up, including Conrad O'Brien-ffrench, Patrick Dalzel-Job and Bill "Biffy" Dunderdale.
The name James Bond came from that of the American ornithologist James Bond, a Caribbean bird expert and author of the definitive field guide Birds of the West Indies. Fleming, a keen birdwatcher himself, had a copy of Bond's guide and he later explained to the ornithologist's wife that "It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born." He further explained that:
When I wrote the first one in 1953, I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument ... when I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought by God, (James Bond) is the dullest name I ever heard.
— Ian Fleming, The New Yorker, 21 April 1962
On another occasion, Fleming said: "I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, 'James Bond' was much better than something more interesting, like 'Peregrine Carruthers'. Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure—an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department."
Hoagy Carmichael—Fleming's view of James Bond
Fleming decided that Bond should resemble both American singer Hoagy Carmichael and himself and in Casino Royale,Vesper Lynd remarks, "Bond reminds me rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless." Likewise, in Moonraker, Special Branch Officer Gala Brand thinks that Bond is "certainly good-looking ... Rather like Hoagy Carmichael in a way. That black hair falling down over the right eyebrow. Much the same bones. But there was something a bit cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold."
Fleming also endowed Bond with many of his own traits, including sharing the same golf handicap, the taste for scrambled eggs and using the same brand of toiletries. Bond's tastes are also often taken from Fleming's own as was his behaviour,with Bond's love of golf and gambling mirroring Fleming's own. Fleming used his experiences of his espionage career and all other aspects of his life as inspiration when writing, including using names of school friends, acquaintances, relatives and lovers throughout his books.
Check out the rest of the article here!
Is this information new to you? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!


William Kendall said...

I saw Spectre last night... and loved it. I'll be reviewing it in my Wednesday blog.

Fleming spent some time in Canada during the War. One of the influences for Bond was almost certainly a Canadian named William Stephenson. And while Fleming was going to work each day at a place called Camp X, he was passing a church here called St. James-Bond United Church.

Norma said...

This is one backstory I have heard, Maria!

Maria McKenzie said...

@William: That's so interesting! I'll have to find out why the church is called St. James-Bond.

@Norma: You're up on your James Bond history! This was all new to me;).