Thursday, January 04, 2007

The original James Bond was an ornithologist?

For what it's worth, in my email update from The Scotsman (aka for 04 Jan 2007, the Fact of the Day is:

The real James Bond was born today in 1900. No, not the super-spy, but the American ornithologist whose name was borrowed by author Ian Fleming for his best-selling novels. Whilst living in Jamaica, Fleming (who was a keen bird-watcher) had a copy of Bond's "Birds of the West Indies" and took his name for the spy since he considered it a "brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name that] was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born." To read more about a real Scottish hero from the world of espionage, visit

That story almost sounds too good to be true... (Pause while your hostess googles...)

Well, my goodness. Over at Barnes and Noble I see that A Field Guide to the Birds of the West Indies has James Bond as a co-author along with Roger Tory Peterson, and I see Wikipedia has an entry on that book, saying it has become a collector's item among Bond fans. It also has an entry on James Bond the ornithologist. It mentions that the 20th Bond film (do I want to know how many there are?) has the spy James Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, examining the book in a scene set in Havana.

I haven't found a link for it at Barnes & Noble yet, but elsewhere on the internet I see that there's also a Collins Field Guide/Birds of the West Indies, 5th Revised Edition, 2002, that lists James Bond as author, with no mention of Peterson.

1 comment:

Doda said...
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