the name’s Bond…. James Bond

On the morning of 17 February 1952 Ian Fleming started writing what would become his first book “Casino Royale” at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica. Fleming took the name for his character 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 is quoted as giving the following reason for his choice of name of the newly created,  shaken but not stirred spy….

“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”

If you would like to see a 1960 edition of the book that inspired Ian Fleming,  a copy can be found in the collection of the Natural History Society of Northumbria at the Great North Museum: Hancock Library.   Unfortunately we won’t be able to provide you with a dry martini, but we do have a wonderful collection of books that you can browse at your leisure.


est Indies

Birds of the W




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