They always say, “Write what you know,” and Ian Flemingdid just that. A former World War II intelligence officer, Fleming had led a full life before even sitting down to write the character of 007 James Bond at the age of 43. Based on his experiences as assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, and the secrets he was privy to, Fleming turned out his first 007 title Casino Royale in a little over two months, followed up by another 13 titles.
Fleming lived to enjoy the success of the published titles and see two film adaptations—Dr. No and From Russia With Love—starring Sean Connery. BBC America’s four-part series Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, which premieres tonight, Wednesday, January 29, at 10pm est, speeds us up on Fleming’s earlier life and what made him into the man he was to become. Here’s a peek at 13 snaps of Ian Fleming in real life:
If you’d like to hit up some of Fleming’s favorite spots to frequent like White’s gentlemen’s club and Scott’s restaurant, check out this BBC Travel article onJames Bond’s London.