Golfers, vicars, gun experts, even Noel Coward: 007’s creator, Ian Fleming, corresponded with them all – defending everything from Bond’s scrambled egg addiction to his moral decay
To Mrs James Bond
Your husband has every reason to sue me for practically every kind of libel in the book, for I will now confess the damnable truth. I have a small house which I built in Jamaica just after the war and some 10 years ago, a confirmed bachelor on the eve of marriage, I decided to take my mind off the dreadful prospect by writing a thriller.
I was determined that my secret agent should be as anonymous as possible – even his name should be the very reverse of the kind of “Peregrine Carruthers” one meets in this type of fiction. At that time one of my bibles was, and still is, Birds of the West Indies by James Bond, and it struck me that this name – brief, unromantic and yet very masculine – was just what I needed. So there is my dreadful confession together with thanks for the fun and fame I have had from the most extraordinary chance choice. In return, I can only offer your James Bond unlimited use of the name Ian Fleming. Perhaps one day he will discover some particularly horrible species of bird which he would like to christen in an insulting fashion that might be a way of getting his own back.
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