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How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

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How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by Erica Ambler on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:54 pm

Been a while since I read through all of the books, but approximately how old is James Bond? Mid 30s? Early 40s?

Is this variance a problem of continuity or, as the series continued, was it thought advisable for Bond to be made a bit younger?


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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by bitchcraft on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:02 am

Erica Ambler wrote:Been a while since I read through all of the books, but approximately how old is James Bond? Mid 30s? Early 40s?

Is this variance a problem of continuity or, as the series continued, was it thought advisable for Bond to be made a bit younger?


Wasn't he 37 in Moonraker? I think he said he had 8 years to go before hitting 00-retirement age which is 45 or something.... Meaning M007RE was a retiree-for-hire.

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by Makeshift Python on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:10 am

Dog Bond's got it.

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by tiffanywint on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:38 am

Fleming it seems was purposefully vague on Bond's age.

In the YOLT obit, Fleming writes "By now it was 1941 and by claiming an age of nineteen......he entered a branch of what was subsequently to become the Ministry of Defence."

This passages suggests Bond was born in 1922.

But if he was 37 in MR (published 1955) then Bond was born in 1918.

Split the difference and he was born in 1920, therefore aged 33-45 for the life of the novels (1953-1965)

Fleming died early enough that he never had to deal with Bond living beyond the mandatory double O retirment age.

Others have claimed Bond was 29 for CR based on data from Fleming. I just can't remember what Fleming they were citiing.

Suffice to say I think Fleming introduced Bond as roughly 35 and tried to keep him in that 35-40 range for the duration which is why I think the films should go back to basics and cast new Bond actors as early 30's to keep them in the Fleming range for as long as possible. This approach worked fine for Sean. We got his best years.

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by Makeshift Python on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:30 am

IIRC Moonraker is only set a year after Casino Royale, with Live and Let Die being set between. Setting MR at 1954 with Bond being 37, that would mean he was Born in 1917.

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by tiffanywint on Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:33 am

Makeshift Python wrote:IIRC Moonraker is only set a year after Casino Royale, with Live and Let Die being set between. Setting MR at 1954 with Bond being 37, that would mean he was Born in 1917.

hmmm. He just gets older.

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by Erica Ambler on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:14 am

You see the problem.

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by Vesper on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:06 pm

I thought the YOLT obit's 'claiming an age of 19' thing was hinting he lied about his age to enlist, i.e. he was born after 1922.

If I recall correctly, I think 1921 or so was suggested (I forget where... Pearson?) because it would give Bond enough experience to be a senior agent around Casino Royale and would leave a large enough window to have all the novels fit in before he hit mandatory retirement age in 1966.

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by Erica Ambler on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:04 pm

So to sum up responses so far, none of us know for sure. :)

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by 6of1 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:51 pm

Bond in CR: roughly 40-45
Bond in LALD: same
Bond in MR: 37
Bond in DAF through OHMSS: aging at a rate of one year per book = 38-45
Bond in YOLT: 50 (getting your wife shot can have curious effects)
Bond in TMWTGG: 45 (prolonged stay at The Park rejuvenates at a rate of one year per week spent; alternatively electro shock therapy subtracts one year per every five shocks; Moloney lied to Bond and gave him 25 shocks, not 24)

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by Erica Ambler on Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:07 pm

So based on that roundup it's quite feasible that by 2014 James Bond is aged 19.

Justin Bieber is James Bond.

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by 6of1 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:37 pm

Erica Ambler wrote:So based on that roundup it's quite feasible that by 2014 James Bond is aged 19.

Completely feasible.

Erica Ambler wrote:
Justin Bieber is James Bond.

Impossible. The amount of electroshocks for this would drive Britain into bankrupcy.


Though...

Did you just notice that flicker? I wonder...

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by tiffanywint on Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:05 pm

Vesper wrote:I thought the YOLT obit's 'claiming an age of 19' thing was hinting he lied about his age to enlist, i.e. he was born after 1922.

If I recall correctly, I think 1921 or so was suggested (I forget where... Pearson?) because it would give Bond enough experience to be a senior agent around Casino Royale and would leave a large enough window to have all the novels fit in before he hit mandatory retirement age in 1966.

Yes Fleming using the word, "claiming", does suggest Bond might have lied about his age. Could have been Fleming's attempt to sneak his age in as a bit younger, say 18 in 1941, making for a 1923 birth, thus only 41 for publication of YOLT (1964) and fit for a few more years of adventure, before mandatory retirement age.

As Koran scholars like to say, the most recent info about Mohammed trumps the older information, thus using the same methodology, the YOLT obit trumps anything Fleming wrote previously. :study:

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by trevanian on Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:18 pm

Pearson has him born on Armistice Day, and I'm pretty sure 1920, since he is referenced as being 53 in the bio, which came out in 73.

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Re: How old is James Bond in the Fleming books?

Post by tiffanywint on Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:09 am

trevanian wrote:Pearson has him born on Armistice Day, and I'm pretty sure 1920, since he is referenced as being 53 in the bio, which came out in 73.

Good point. I've always considered Bond to have been born in 1920. Thanks for reminding me why. I probably picked that up in the Pearson book, but I haven't read it in ages, so I forgot that bit, but clearly it did register at the time and stuck. So I can go with that as Pearson based on what he got from Fleming, decided that would be Bond's age. Works for me. Thus Bond is 33 with the publication of CR and 45 with publication of TMWTGG and I guess 48 with publication of Colonel Sun, and then he disappears only to be resurrected years later by Gardner in a new bogus timeline which doesn't make any sense, unless Bond is now 61. But that's OK, Bond stopped aging in his mid-to-late 40's so he could be strong and middle-aged fit, for the Gardner and Pearson books, which both laughably tried to maintain continuity with Fleming.

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