Nathanael Means

english james bondThe polar star against which I have measured my life has always been my own notion of a Bond Experience encapsulated in the old-fashioned, but mildly modern, English gentleman. For me it is more than the films; the Bond Experience speaks to the way of living of that older generation of Englishmen and Americans like Ian Fleming who did service in the Second World War.

I look not exclusively to Fleming to find the essence of the James Bond lifestyle.

I see the world that Fleming captured in James Bond similarly revealed in the genteel, English manner of living of Americans like the columnist Joseph Alsop who defined the American Anglophiles of the age as the W.A.S.P Ascendancy. Alsop knew Fleming; he dined with the Flemings, survived deprivation in a Japanese concentration camp in Hong Kong, served with Claire Chennault in China, and after the war kindled a luxurious lifestyle of travel to exotic places as a journalist, ate the best food, and dressed himself in shoes from Lobbs and suits from Anderson and Sheppard.

For me, the Bond experience has been to emulate the best the old-fashioned English gentlemen and their American W.A.S.P. cousins, men like Fleming who took seriously public service, exhibited good manners, dined at their clubs, and, as Fleming put it, took ridiculous pleasure in what they ate and drank.

A man who lives the Bond experience is a man who has class.