Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Origins Of James Bond

Have you ever wondered where the name James Bond came from? As with so many aspects of the Bond stories there are numerous theories to its origins. Perhaps the most popular is one where Ian Flemming sits down to pen his first of many Bond titles and quite simply lifts the name from a title on his bookshelf. The book in question was "A field Guide to Birds of the West Indies" by James Bond. Flemming was fascinated with wildlife and said to have been an avid bird watcher.

There is a clever homage to the origins of the name in the film "Die Another Day" starring Pierce Brosnan. In one scene Bond is seen hiding behind a copy of the Field Guide of West Indian Birds, disguising himself as an Ornithologist or bird watcher. Flemming was said to have reported in an interview years after writing the Bond titles that he always intended the character to have a brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon though masculine name. He felt it suited his anonymity.

The codename 007 is thought to have had a far simpler inception. One of the greatest successes of British Naval Intelligence in the 1st World War was the breaking of the code in the famed Zimmerman telegram in 1917. This single event is thought to have been a catalyst for the United States to enter the war and seal Germany's fate.

The numbers 0075 identified the diplomatic code used in the highly classified German telegram. From that point in time the double zero code was attached to all top-secret British documents. 007 became the highest classification for the most sensitive documents. The double zero code was later dropped by British intelligence but faithfully adopted by Flemming to provide Bond with his license to kill.

To Flemming, James Bond was a combination of characters he had met during the course of the 2nd World War. These included both secret agents and commandos. Although he never denied that Bond was a combination of real people, he never singled out anyone in particular. Quite the contrary in fact, as Flemming was said to have flattered more than one person with the suggestion that they had been the criterion for the British super-spy.

Both Flemmings father and brother along with the man himself have been suggested over the years as potential inspiration for the character. Apart from the family connection there have been many others that have laid claim to this lofty title. One candidate in particular stands out form the crowd, Patrick Dazel-Job. He is said to have served in an elite commando unit, been a superb marksmen, learnt to ski backwards, dive and pilot a miniature submarine. Very Bond indeed!

Dazel-Job may have had the strongest claim to the title of Bond role model but he was not the only forerunner among the ranks of elite service men in naval special operations. There is no definitive answer to the question and debate will continue, no doubt, for decades to come. In truth Bond is most likely a piece of each and every one of these characters who have laid claim to the notion of prototype. It would be fair to say that whatever the mix, there was a healthy serving of Flemming himself in the make-up of the worlds greatest ever spy.

Richard Connery invites you to visit his website at http://www.richardconnery.com Richard Connery Productions provide professional content and writing services to a variety of industries including general articles, travel reviews, blog posts, newsletters, press releases, scripting, product reviews, dining and entertainment reviews, media reviews, web page content and text creation, sales literature and advertising text. To find out more information about his latest novel "Web Games: Hearts & Minds" please visit the website. For more articles and further information visit http://www.richardconnery.com/blog.php. Richard is a freelance journalist and writer. For further information or to read more articles by Richard Connery you can visit the blog or Articles pages on the website. Topics include Travel Reviews, Film Reviews, TV Reviews, Online Dating, Crime, Fishing, Gardening, Landscaping and other general subject matter.

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