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March 2020

February 2020

The 'Real James Bond" Is Here!

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The first printing arrived today at Schiffer's warehouse yesterday. Should be out in the world soon.

I am delivering copies to Wild Birds Unlimited in Paramus today.

You can also buy one directly from me. Or you can order online by clicking the dust-jacket image on right.


1931 News story on Bond Discovering 'New' Nuthatch

Bond Cuba trip....  9111 (1)I found this clipping while going over my research -- the headline says:

EXPERT GETS BIRD

NEW TO SCIENCE

Clearly, Bond knew he was onto something right away.

The article describes the hardships Bond went through on his expeditions, and it talks about his adventures in the Zapata Swamp as well.

The clip is supposedly from 1931, but I am unsure what newspaper published it.

You can read more about the Bond and Bahama Nuthatch here.

J Bond  rare Bahama Nuthatch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Photo courtesy of  William Hayes.


A Tabloid 'Real James Bond' Story

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Front page of Daily Mirror's Sunday People section 011220I finally got a copy of a print version of the British tabloid story about "The Real James Bond."

On the front cover was an article of a battle between British royals, so I was in good company.

The real James likely would have cringed at the coverage, but his wife Mary Wickham Bond would have loved it.

You can read the story here


My First Talk (in Philly) Is Tuesday!

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I am very excited about the launch event for my book at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

The event will include my talk, a short question-and-answer session with Academy's Nate Rice and The Nature Conservancy's Barbara Brummer, a book signing, and displays of James Bond memorabilia -- including first editions and birds he collected for science (still used for research today).

The photo above is of a young Jim Bond inspecting a bird skin in the Ornithology Dept.

You can reserve a seat here.


'Licensed to Thrill' Article on U.K. Newsstands

Screen Shot 2020-02-21 at 11.02.24 AMI wrote an article on the birds of 007 -- all the glorious birds in Ian Fleming's fiction and what they signified -- for the British magazine Bird Watching, and it's now on sale over there.

Bird Waching Magazine CoverThe birds include the glorious Red-billed Streamertail of the short story "For Your Eyes Only" and the mischievous Kling-klings of  Fleming's last 007 novel, The Man With the Golden Gun.

(I saw several Kling-klings at Goldeneye while I was researching the book.)

The six-page article also delves into the connection between the real and fictional James Bonds as well as the two Fleming femme fatales named for birds.

Photography includes images taken by Kevin Watson and Jamaican bird expert Ricardo Miller of Arrowhead Birding Tours.

The Bird Watching magazine designers did a stunning job. If you're over that way, be sure to buy a copy.

I hope to write about Streamertails and Kling-klings in future posts.


George Washington and the Real James Bond

Screen Shot 2020-02-22 at 9.57.33 AMDid you know that James Bond once collected live wild animals for George Washington?

In 1925, he accompanied an aristocratic pal named Rodolphe Meyer de Schauensee on an expedition to the lower Amazon jungle in Brazil to collect bird skins for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and -- to pay for the trip -- to collect live specimens for public and private zoos.

One such customer was a New Jersey-based coffee manufacturer named George Washington, who made his fortune by inventing an early incarnation of instant coffee. Washington spent part of that fortune keeping exotic wild animals at his fenced-in Mendham estate, including a cheetah that was said to eat breakfast with him. 

You can read more about the "fake" George Washingon here. You can read more about the real James Bond in my book, arriving soon.

(And happy birthday to the real George Washington!)

Image above via Wikimedia.

 


The Real James Bond and Parrotfish

Parrotfish are one of the many fish that the real James Bond collected for science (and for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia).

Ian Fleming, who also loved the West Indies, Parrotfish, and other underwater creatures, mentions Parrotfish feeding on algae on a coral reef in his short story "The Hildebrand Rarity":

"A ten-pound green parrot-fish, nibbling algae from a lump of coral, paused only to roll its eyes as Bond passed overhead, and then went back to its meal."

These days, because of over-fishing, Parrotfish need our help.

That's one of the reasons I am donating all my appearance fees associated with "The Real James Bond" to The Nature Conservancy's Caribbean Initiative.

You can read more about TNC's initiative here.

Bond collected a Red-tailed Parrotfish (below) off Grenada in 1929. Photo by JT Williams via Wikimedia.

 

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My First Talk Is Two Weeks Away!

1969 James Bond ANSP Archives Coll. 457

I am very excited about the launch event for my book at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

The event will include my talk, a short question-and-answer session with Academy's Nate Rice, a book signing, and displays of James Bond memorabilia -- including first editions and birds he collected for science (still used for research today).

The photo above (from ANSP Archives Coll. 457) is of Bond in 1969 in his office at the Academy.

You can reserve a seat here.


Today in 1952: Ian Fleming Began 'Casino Royale'

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“On or around 17 February [1952],” Matthew Parker writes in Goldeneye, his biography of Ian Fleming in Jamaica, “he sat down at his desk in Goldeneye’s main room, plucked a name from the author of Birds of the West Indies, whose book sat on his shelf, lined up his ream of smart paper and started to write. So began Bond, with the claustrophobic first line of Casino Royale ... ”

In 1964, Fleming told an interviewer from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that  “when I started to write these books in 1952, I wanted a really quiet, flat name, and one of my bibles out here is James Bond’s Birds of the West Indies, which is a very famous ornithological book indeed. I thought, ‘James Bond, that’s a pretty quiet name,’ and so I simply stole it and used it.” 

The rest, as they say, is history.

It's all a key part of my new book "The Real James Bond," arriving on Feb. 28.

(Photo above courtesy of Island Outpost.)


The Book Launch is March 3 in Philly

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Make your reservation now for my book launch at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia on March 3.RealJamesBond_CVR(1) (3)

It looks to be an awesome event, including my talk, a q-and-a with Academy ornithologist Nate Rice and me, a book signing, and display cases featuring real Jams Bond first editions and birds he collected for science (still used for research today).

You can get your tickets (and more info) here.

Here's the ANSP's press release:

Continue reading "The Book Launch is March 3 in Philly" »