“Bond. James Bond.” It’s the most iconic introduction to spy fiction. Bond is a legend, giving British secret agents an aura of charm, sexiness and constant freshness in the face of potential death. Although author Ian Fleming has penned less than 20 stories about his most memorable character, 007 lives on in more than two dozen movies that have thrilled viewers over the past 60 years. So how did James Bond get his name and how did the original concept of 007 differ from what it has become today?
The origins of the world’s most famous secret agent
James Bond came onto the scene in 1953 as the main protagonist of the novel Casino Royale, explains Britannica. British author Ian Fleming wrote this book and 13 other novels and short stories featuring 007.
Fleming was a British naval intelligence officer during World War II, where he worked in Rear Admiral John Godfrey’s administration. From 1939 to 1947, Fleming took part in many operations which remained secret for years, but he never became a secret agent because he did not pass the exam.
It was this experience that led him to write his first spy novel. Although Fleming wrote the book to distract himself from his “impending marriage”, he never predicted that the book would become as popular as it is today. author’s website Explain.
“My own feeling is that the lifespan of a book like this is not long,” he said.
How James Bond got his name?
Today, fans know James Bond as a suave and seductive secret agent with cat-like reflexes and a taste for beautiful women. That’s why it might surprise many that Fleming chose the name Bond based on the idea that the spy should be an unassuming and uninteresting character.
Fleming wanted Bond to be the kind of person things happened to. “I wanted it to be a blunt instrument,” the author said. “When I was looking for a name for my protagonist, I thought, ‘By God, [‘James Bond’] is the most boring name I’ve ever heard,” Art-Sheep reports.
Back home in Jamaica, Fleming found inspiration for the name James Bond in a birding guide written by ornithologist Dr. James Bond.
As for his code number, “007” was also unrelated to anything Fleming had encountered with British intelligence. It came from the bus route the author used every day in the 1950s when he lived in Kent and traveled to London: Route 007.
Is James Bond based on a particular person?
Officially, Fleming never revealed that he based Bond on a single person from his time working in British naval intelligence. Many fans of the novels believe he borrowed characteristics from many secret agents he had met while working in intelligence.
However, according to Britisha few people could have influenced 007. FFE Yeo-Thomas – a WWII secret agent – and Serbian double agent Dusko Popov could have inspired the character.
Whether Fleming based James Bond on an actual secret agent or the perfect combination of many spies and their experiences, his legacy continues to entertain millions.
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