Sunday, May 28, 2006
A Toast to Bond’s Papa
[[E V E N T S]] * Were he still alive (instead of having died in 1964), spy novelist Ian Fleming would today be celebrating his 98th birthday. He was born on May 28, 1908, to a member of the British Parliament and his wife, aspired to be a diplomat (but failed the Foreign Office qualifying exam), instead became a journalist with Reuters news service, and then went on to join British Naval Intelligence during World War II (a fact that has inspired many a novel). The dashing Fleming created an even more dashing spy in the form of James Bond, secret agent 007, who first appeared in the 1953 novel Casino Royale (currently being adapted by Hollywood for the third time, with a film release date in November 2006). Fleming wrote 12 Bond books in total, as well as nine short stories featuring the same ever-randy and resourceful character. He also penned (for his only son, Caspar) the children’s story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964), which was turned into a 1968 movie starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes.