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February 2020

January 2020

'Real James Bond': 1st Extensive Interview

James Bond Radio -- InterviewBack in August, when Schiffer Books announced a publication date for "The Real James Bond," writer Matthew Chernov contacted me immediately about an interview.

I said, "Sure -- but closer to when the book arrives."

Well, time flies, and here we are.

This online interview is the first in-depth look at the book, and hopefully worth waiting for.

You can read it here.

The book arrives in four weeks -- on Friday, Feb. 28. You can order a copy from Schiffer now by clicking the book's dustjacket in the top right-hand corner.

(The photo of me is by Kevin Watson. Thanks, Kevin!)

Bond and Academy of Natural Sciences

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My book launch is just over five weeks away -- at the Real James Bond's home base, the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

It promises to be an incredible evening, so you might want to reserve your seats now.

You can read more about Bond, the Academy and my talk on a recent ANSP blog post I wrote.

Some pretty cool photos, including a Red-billed Streamertail I photographed on a trip to Jamaica.

You can read it here.

The Famous James Bond - Ian Fleming Photo

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On February 5, 1964, James and Mary Bond paid an unexpected visit to Goldeneye and met Ian Fleming.

It turned out to be a historic day, with Fleming and Bond talking about their books and Fleming giving Bond a copy of his soon-to-be-released "You Only Live Twice."

Fleming inscribed the book:

“To the real James Bond from the thief of his identity, Ian Fleming, Feb. 5, 1964 (a great day!).”

Mary Bond took the above photo, which is now in the archives of the Rare Book Department in the Free Library of Philadelphia.

It is the only known photo of the two men together. It is widely used -- alas without proper credit or attribution.

You can read more about the photo, the day, and the parallels between the two authors in my book.

By the way, I'll be doing a free talk at the Free Library on Saturday, April 11.

More info here.

FLP exterior Jim Wright (1)

'Real James Bond' in Schiffer's Spring Catalog

Screen Shot 2020-01-15 at 3.21.13 PM"The Real James Bond" is front and center in Schiffer Books' Spring 2020 catalog.

You can read the page devoted to the book here.

Among the photos featured on the page is a photo of a Hoatzin by a Watson (ace photographer Kevin Watson, that is.)  On James Bond's first expedition to South America, the Hoatzin was one of his target birds. You can read more in the book.

Also pictured: A photo of the real James Bond with Ian Fleming at Goldeneye in 2020. More about that photo is a future post.

The real Bond sought a Hoatzin on his first expedition to Latin America 95 years ago.

You can order the book in advance of the Feb. 28 publication date here.


'Real James Bond' -- First Coverage

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Did a phone interview last week with Peter Sheridan, who writes for The Daily Mirror and other British publications.

His article ran in The Mirror over the weekend. You can read it here.

Someone did a YouTube video of the article -- a bit on the strange side in that some of the images seem arbitrary, but still cool.

Both the article and the video (and my book) feature a photo I came across of the real James Bond with a shotgun in British Honduras (now Belize). I believe the photo below was taken in Chestnut Hill, Pa.

"Real James Bond': My Advance Copy Is Here

Late last month, Schiffer Publishing sent me an advance copy of "The Real James Bond," and I am pleased to say they did a terrific job.

The arrival of my advance copy means that the book is printed and making its way here for its Feb. 28 publication date.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of my book next to a first edition of "Birds of the West Indies."

It's the edition that Ian Fleming had at Goldeneye in Jamaica when he stole James Bond's name off the cover. (And the rest is history....)

My book will tell all about that history -- and the price that both men paid for being associated with the fictional James Bond.


Happy Birthday, James Bond!

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The famous ornithologist, author and identity-theft victim would have celebrated his 120th birthday tomorrow, January 4.

The Philadelphian was born in 1900. He wrote "Birds of the West Indies" for the Academy of Natural Sciences in his hometown in 1936.

Bond died in 1989 after a long and illustrious life -- with several unexpected twists along the way..

My book about him arrives on Feb. 28.  The launch event is at the Academy on Tuesday, March 3.

(Photo courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia's Rare Book Department.  I'll be speaking there about Bond on Saturday, April 11. as part of the Rare Book Department's "Hands on History" talks. You can read more here.)

Questions? E-mail me.