Tuesday, May 28, 2013
May 28 - Ian Fleming
Author Ian Fleming was born on May 28, 1908, in London’s Mayfair district, into a wealthy family. During World War II he worked in Britain's Naval Intelligence Division. That experience and work for Reuters and newspapers provided background, detail and substance for the 11 James Bond novels he wrote from 1953 to 1966. His first, Casino Royale, featured Bond as an officer in the Secret Intelligence Service (known as MI6), with the code number 007. He later called the book, which was a major success, a "dreadful oafish opus." An avid birdwatcher, Fleming took his character’s name from that of American ornithologist James Bond, author of a field guide, Birds of the West Indies (Fleming spent holidays in Jamaica). He said he deliberately sought a “dull” name for a dull character. He based Bond on “secret agents and commando types” he met in Naval Intelligence, and pictured him as looking like composer, singer and actor Hoagy Carmichael, among others. Starting in 1958 his books were attacked for sexism and other failings.