Apr 22, 2008, 07:36AM

The House That Bond Built

Ian Fleming's niece revisits the tropical home of the singular author, whose obsession with espionage and luxury shaped 007 into a cultural icon that spans generations.

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"Ian was always sad to leave the island. He loved it: the people, the weather, the flora and fauna (his heroine in Live and Let Die, Solitaire, was named after a local bird). He particularly enjoyed the swimming; he found a new adventure playground in the sea which he reflected in his writing. He even found his hero’s name ‘on the cover of one of my Jamaican bibles, Birds of the West Indies by James Bond, an ornithological classic’. Ian wrote, ‘Would these books have been born if I hadn’t been living in the glorious vacuum of a Jamaican holiday? I doubt it.’ James Bond may have been conceived in Room 39 of the Admiralty but he was born in Jamaica. As Ian said of Bond, ‘He’d grown to love the great green island and its staunch humorous people.’ I wish I’d had time to see more of it.



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