'Real James Bond' in the News

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I happened upon a post on the Collider website inspired by my story about Bond in the Smithsonian Magazine a few years back.

Sadly, the writer Emmanuel Ronquillo wrote all about the article but failed to mention my biography of Bond for Schiffer Books, which has even cooler intel on the real Bond. (Emmanuel, there's still time!)

I have to say that Collider did a very clever riff on my book's cover image (above).

You can read the post here:






The Real James Bond's Licenses to Kill

Bond collection permits IMG_0378Today (October 5) is Global James Bond Day, so dedicated because today is the anniversary of the first Bond movie's release in 1962.

In James Bond's honor, I present... the real James Bond's licenses to kill. 

The real Bond had far more of them than 007 since he needed to collect birds on so many Caribbean islands for so many years.

The Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia has quite a few in its archives, even if the rarest one -- signed by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo -- never made it to their collection.

I did a ton of research in the Mary and James Bond archives while writing the book. The Free Library is a terrific place.

You should take a free tour of the Rare Book Department next time you are in town.

More here:


More on Poe's Raven here:


"Birds of the West Indies" for Sale

Bond. BOTWI Cover 1936  7.5 in
The market for early editions of Birds of the West Indies continues to be quite bullish.

A friend recently pointed out a couple of first editions of James Bond's seminal 1936 Birds of the West Indies are for sale. The price has certainly gone up since its debut, when it sold for $4.50.

Here's one for $16,000.


Here's another for $12,500.


Neither had a dust jacket, which is a nice feature to have when you're shelling out that kind of dough, but the main selling point is that they are signed first editions.

A couple of years ago, I could have bought one for $4,000, but I thought that was a bit steep. Wrong.

I also found an unsigned 1947 edition on eBay, incorrectly billed as  Field Guide of Birds in the West Indies. The blurb for the book states that this was the edition of the book that Fleming used to swipe Bond's name from the cover, but that is most likely incorrect. 

While researching The Real James Bond, I came across an interview with Bond in which he said that when he visited Fleming at Goldeneye, Fleming showed him the 1936 edition.

The 1947 edition is still a great book, and the first edition that was streamlined enough to be useful in the field.

A few British sellers were offering the same copy for $1,900.

No mention of a dustjacket for that copy either.


1947 field guide up for auction






My Article for Ian Fleming Publications

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A while back, I noticed that the logo for Ian Fleming Screenshot 2023-04-04 at 9.32.20 AMPublications was not a pistol as one might expect, but a hummingbird. And not just any hummingbird, mind you, but a Red-billed Streamertail.

I asked the publisher if she would be interested in an article about the bird behind the logo, and she immediately agreed.

The article features photos I took of the bird while in Jamaica, a photo by Ricardo Miller (one of Jamaica's top birders), plus other hummingbird shots and a photo of Goldeneye, now a luxury resort.

You can read the article here:

Continue reading "My Article for Ian Fleming Publications" »

A Cool Tweet (and Pic) about My Book

Bond at the beachBob Dolgan, writer of This Week in Birding, Filmmaker and Piping Plover fan, tweeted:

Ian Fleming and Jim Bond might appreciate reading this fine book in Eleuthera, Bahamas. A story about a pre-eminent ornithologist of the Caribbean. The first bird guide to the West Indies was by Bond.

All that -- and an awesome photo from the Eleuthera in the Bahamas!

Bob's website is turnstoneimpact.com

On This Day in 1952...

1-01  BBB
... Ian Fleming sat down at the bullet-wood desk in his bungalow on the north shore of Jamaica to write his first 007 novel.

   Near his desk sat a copy of Birds of the West Indies, by a Philadelphia ornithologist named James Bond.

   Fleming called his place "Goldeneye" (above). He would call his spy thriller Casino Royale.

    Next Friday: A hummingbird dear to Ian Fleming's heart.

   (Photo courtesy of Island Outpost.)


The Real Bond Died 34 Years Ago Today

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Jim Bond died on Valentine's Day, 1989, after a long bout with cancer. He was 89.

His ashes are buried next to his wife Mary's in a cemetery in Lower Gwynedd Township, not far from his childhood home outside of Philadelphia.

Their ashes are buried near the graves of Jim’s mother, brother and sister.

The church’s altar has an exquisite stained-glass window (below) donated by Bond’s father in memory of Bond’s mother.

The window, of a Resurrection scene, was made by Clayton & Bell of London, who also designed several windows for Westminster Abbey.

Main altar stained glass


How to Get a Copy of 'The Real James Bond'

RealJamesBond_CVR(1)Want your own copy of The Real James Bond?

You can order a hard-cover copy online here.  (This website helps raise money for independent bookshops.)

You can order a signed copy from me here.

You can order a Real James Bond eBook for Kindle here.  You can order a Real James Bond eBook on Apple here.

You can read my interview with BirdWatching magazine here.

You can subscribe to this blog by supplying your email address under "Subscribe" in the column at right.

Sure is a lot you can do!