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February 2022

New Podcast: 'Real James Bond' Interview

Screen Shot 2022-02-15 at 2.44.15 PM
Earlier this month, I recorded a podcast with Mark Lynch, who hosts a radio program called "Inquiry" for an NPR affliliate in Massachusetts, WICN 90.5.

We had a great conversation about Bond, his landmark "Birds of the West Indies," the Ian Fleming connection and much more.

You can listen to or download the program here:




On This Day in 1964...

Bond meets fleming-DSCN9866 (2)On Feb. 5, 1964, ornithologist James Bond and his wife Mary dropped by Goldeneye, Ian Fleming's estate in Jamaica, for an unexpected visit.

Contrary to all the apocryphal stories out there:

A. Bond never gave Fleming advance permission to use his name.

B. Bond and Fleming never met at any other time or anywhere else.

The full account -- and much more -- is in my book. I relied in part on Mary Bond's hand-written notes, now in the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Though seldom credited, Mary Bond took the photo above. It is the only known photo of the two men together.

How 007 Got His Number

007 bus line
"007" is one of the most-recognizable numbers in the world, and central to the  James Bond mystique.

"Casino Royale," the first of Daniel Craig's James Bond movie, even begins with a scene explaining how an agent achieves the vaunted "double-O" status.

But how did Ian Fleming come up with  "007" and that "double-O" status in the first place?

Lashana lynch 007
MGM/Universal Pictures/EON

Some Fleming enthusiasts insist the world’s most-famous code number was inspired by 16th-Century English explorer/spy John Dee.

Others point to the 007 British bus line, or a 1897 Rudyard Kipling story about an American locomotive entitled “.007,” a World War I code, or part of the telephone number of Ian Fleming’s first literary agent.

There’s just one trouble with these theories. They’re balderdash.

Now, with Craig's fifth and final James Bond movie, I thought you might enjoy my article for It spills all the beans about 007.

You can read it here.

Above: The beginning of ".007," a short story by Rudyard Kipling in Collier's magazine; the legendary John Dee, and an editorial cartoon about the Zimmerman code.