Collecting Mary Wickham Bond's Writings
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'Real James Bond' in BirdWatching Magazine

Bird Watching Homepage Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 3.16.45 PM copy
The May/June issue of BirdWatching magazine has a blurb about The ReaL James Bond, and the magazine's website just posted an extensive interview with me about the book. Very cool.

You can view the writeup below, and read the interview here.

Or you can go to BirdWatching's homepage: It's currently in the article rotation at the top of the page.

Here's the beginning of the interview (interviewer Matt Mendenhall in bold):

We recently interviewed Wright about the book, Bond, Fleming, and their legacy. Please enjoy.

Congratulations on the book. It’s quite informative and a fun read. What inspired you to write it?Screen Shot 2020-06-08 at 8.04.15 PM (1)

I’m from Philly, I love birds, and I love the 007 novels and movies. When I heard that Ian Fleming’s super-spy was named for a Philadelphia ornithologist, I had to learn more. I kept finding out more and more amazing information — about his troubled childhood, his adventures in the Caribbean, his landmark book Birds of the West Indies. I also kept discovering all sorts of wonderful color paintings and photos and ephemera that brought Bond’s story to life.

One thing led to another, and The Real James Bond is the result.

I was aware of the broad outlines of the story — that Ian Fleming took the name of an ornithologist who had written books about Caribbean birds to be his main character, but I didn’t know the details of Jim Bond’s life or how Fleming purloined Bond’s name. How did the real James Bond feel about his name being used?

Bond didn’t enjoy the 007 connection, although he did concede that it helped get him through customs on occasion. He became aware that Fleming had appropriated his name in the early 1960s when Fleming’s thrillers became popular in the U.S. and breathless young females would call Bond’s home late at night and ask, “Is James there?”

 

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