Saturday, May 28, 2011

Profile: Ian Fleming – Author, Creator of James Bond

Ian Lancaster Fleming (28 May 1908 – 12 August 1964) was a British author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer. Fleming is best known for creating the fictional British spy James Bond and for a series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character, which are one of the best-selling series of related novels of all time having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming also wrote the children's story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and two works of non-fiction. Fleming is reputed to have been the designer of Operation Mincemeat and Operation Goldeneye, the former of which was successfully carried out during the Second World War.

In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming fourteenth on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".

Fleming's intelligence work in the Naval Intelligence Division provided the background for his spy novels. In 1953, his first novel was published, Casino Royale, in which the British Intelligence agent James Bond, also famously known by his code number, 007, was introduced to the world. A number of real-life inspirations have been suggested for James Bond. Amongst them are Sir William Stephenson and what Fleming had learned from him. Sir William Stephenson had set up Camp X, a Second World War paramilitary and commando training installation in Ontario, Canada, which Fleming may or may not have attended. Other possible influences upon Fleming's characterisation of James Bond are the naval officer Patrick Dalzel-Job and Fleming's brother Peter.

In Fleming's novel Casino Royale, James Bond appears with the beautiful heroine Vesper Lynd, who was modelled on SOE agent Krystyna Skarbek. Some ideas for his characters and the locations in which Bond operates came from his time at Boodle's. Bond's fictional spymaster, M, frequents a club, Blades, at which Bond is an occasional guest. This club was partially modelled on Boodle's. The name of Bond's arch enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, was based on a fellow member's name.

The name James Bond itself came from a famed ornithologist James Bond, the son of the Bond family who allowed Fleming the use of their estate in Jamaica to write (perhaps also by an Elizabethan Bond from Fleming's earlier years). The Bonds were wealthy manufacturers whose estate outside Philadelphia eventually became the grounds of Gwynedd Mercy College. Fleming reputedly used the name after seeing James Bond's 1936 book Birds of the West Indies.

Initially, Fleming's Bond novels were not bestsellers in North America. But when President John F. Kennedy included From Russia With Love on a list of his favourite books, sales quickly jumped.


The Incredible World of James Bond - Ian Fleming's story (part 1)

How Ian Fleming created James Bond


The James Bond Story Part 1 of 7


30 Years Of James Bond Part 1/5

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