“On or around 17 February ,” 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.)