Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The Hardboiled James Bond?

Date: 24 Apr 2002

In a message dated 24/04/02 18:26:16 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

<< Orphaned at 11. Public school education. Kicked out of college. Served his
 country during WWII. No friends. No family. Kills for a living -- in hot
 blood and cold -- and wonders if it's all bullshit. Follows no ones rules.
 Variously described as cruel, ruthless, cold, taciturn. PLUS:

I am sure you all know this, but, Public School in Britain means Private, fee-paying, elite school, to say someone had is "Public School", is probably akin to saying someone is "Ivy League". In Bond's case it means he had money for the fees, probably "old" family money. College also almost certainly means Oxbridge - outside Scotland there wasn't really much higher education untill the 20th Century, those institutions would be described as universities. To say "Thrown out of college" at that time would almost certainly mean that he was thrown out of one of the colleges of the two great universities, Oxford and Cambridge (the great recruiting grounds for the secret services), again something that would guarantee that he had family money and cachet to a certain degree. Not that I want to get involved in a complex discussion of the British class system. His US equivalent would probably have been to an Ivy League university, screwed up and then been recruited via family connections to the CIA - the only thing that springs to mind is Harlot's Ghost by Norman Mailer - Bond is at the very least upper class and socialy well connected. Whether that renders his hardboildness moot I leave to you. I don't even think of him in that way - an upper class playboy and spy, entertaining and culturally important for a while. Cheers. Colin

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