A licence to drink.

A licence to drink

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When Ian Fleming typed out the first 2,000 words of what was to become one of the most successful fictional spy series in modern history, he had a very clear idea of the qualities and character that made up his central character: James Bond.

As a former naval intelligence officer, Fleming turned to the Royal Navy and the type of debonair, sophisticated, but sometimes ruthless English gentleman to model his 007 character on. From his 12 books and two short stories we know that Bond was 1.83 meters tall, slim, with short dark hair. He was also described as having blue-gray eyes, a "cruel" mouth and a scar on his right cheek. He was educated privately, at a Scottish boarding school, lived in a flat in the Chelsea area of London, had his suits made in Savile Row and was a heavy smoker. And despite his licence to kill, a busy day job that required unlimited travel, life-threatening adventure and a near endless supply of glamorous women, both the films and the books show that he had the time to display an obvious prowess as a wine connoisseur.

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