Monday, April 11, 2022

Mystery Monday: Ian Fleming vs. James Bond

Mystery Monday: Ian Fleming vs. James Bond 
Photo: WikiImages
Most folks are familiar with James Bond even if they don’t read spy fiction/thrillers. According to creator/author Ian Fleming, Bond is the “compound of all the secret agents and commando types I met during the war.” Fleming wrote fourteen novels before his death, and thirty-four additional novels and short stories have been penned by other authors. Long before he left Naval Intelligence Division, Fleming told a friend he planned to become an author and “write the spy story to end all spy stories.” With his experience, he certainly had enough fodder. 
But where does Fleming end and Bond begin? 

Image commissioned
by Fleming
The character’s name was taken from that of American ornithologist James Bond, an expert on Caribbean birds and author of the definitive guide Birds of the West Indies. Fleming was an avid birdwatcher and owned a copy of Bond’s book. It is said he later told the man’s wife that “this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James bond was born.” Other characters were given names of Fleming’s school friends, acquaintances, relatives, and lovers. 

Bond is described as having “black hair falling down over the right eyebrow...a bit cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold.” Some say Bond is a cross between Fleming and his friend, Hoagy Carmichael. Fleming also bestowed his own tastes and traits on Bond. Bond had the same golf handicap, loved scrambled eggs and gambling, and used Fleming’s brand of toiletries. In addition, like Fleming, the character was a womanizer, a heavy drinker, and smoked regularly. 

Photo: Pixabay/
Roberto Lee Cortes
Some scholars have posited that rather than an extension of Fleming, Bond is the author’s wish fulfillment, referencing the fact that the author spent most of the war at a desk, managing intelligent-gathering operations remotely. According to his biographer, Andrew Lycette, “He saw all these secret agents arriving from interesting assignations and he sort of decided he would have liked to have been more like them.” 
Perhaps. You be the judge. 


Spies & Sweethearts

She wants to do her part. He’s just trying to stay out of the stockade. Will two agents deep behind enemy lines find capture… or love? 

1942. Emily Strealer is tired of being told what she can’t do. Wanting to prove herself to her older sisters and do her part for the war effort, the high school French teacher joins the OSS and trains to become a covert operative. And when she completes her training, she finds herself parachuting into occupied France with her instructor to send radio signals to the Resistance. 

Major Gerard Lucas has always been a rogue. Transferring to the so-called “Office of Dirty Tricks” to escape a court-martial, he poses as a husband to one of his trainees on a dangerous secret mission. But when their cover is blown after only three weeks, he has to flee with the young schoolteacher to avoid Nazi arrest. 

Running for their lives, Emily clings to her mentor’s military experience during the harrowing three-hundred-mile trek to neutral Switzerland. And while Gerard can’t bear the thought of his partner falling into German hands, their forged papers might not be enough to get them over the border. Can the fugitive pair receive God’s grace to elude the SS and discover the future He intended?

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