Where does the name “James Bond” come from?

The name of James Bond was lifted from the author of a book on ornithology called Birds of the West Indies (1936). Ian Fleming once said: “I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest sounding name I could think of. James Bond seemed perfect.” Fleming claimed he liked the masculinity of the name “Bond” and never envisioned his character becoming so popular that it could create problems for the real life man who bore that name. But it did.

Fleming later wrote a note to Mary Wickham Bond apologizing for the theft of her husband`s name, saying, “Perhaps one day your husband will discover a particularly horrible species of bird which he would like to christen in an insulting fashion by calling it Ian Fleming.”

Mary Wickham Bond authored several autobiographies such as How 007 Got His Name (1966) and To James Bond With Love (1980) well as a book on ornithology entitled Far Afield In The Caribbean: Migratory Flights of a Naturalist`s Wife (1971). In To James Bond With Love she recalls how her husband would get suspcious looks while going through customs at international airports during the height of the cold war. At times, he was suspected of spying for the United States of America, though in reality, all he wanted to do was bird watch. She also wrote about the affair with his next door neighbor he had while at Goldeneye, his Jamaican home. His next door neighbor planted many roses and flowers along a hedge the two properties shared. Anne Fleming, who knew of Ian`s affair, would go dig up the flowers and trample them as a means of payback towards her husband`s mistress.

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