James Bond’s World War I Origins

The Atlantic has an interesting essay on how the genre of British espionage fiction owes a lot to the undercover activities and nationalistic tensions of the First World War. Graham Greene and Ian Fleming both dabbled in actual espionage for their government – albeit behind the scenes – and this certainly helped them write with greater authenticity.

RiddleofTheSandsChildersOddly, although the author does discuss the writer Erskine Childers (author of the great nautical spy classic ‘Riddle of the Sands’), he neglects to discuss the irony of how Childers was ultimately executed for treason during the Irish Civil War after he had grown to reject every aspect of the British Empire he once cherished.

Additionally, most of Graham Greene’s spy fiction (which he himself thought was his worst writing) was written in the 1920s and 30s long before he worked in government intelligence, another weak link made by the author.

Here’s the article in question.

7 thoughts on “James Bond’s World War I Origins

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