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Topic: What age is Bond in the Gardner and Benson novels?

What age is Bond in the Gardner and Benson novels?

I read that Gardner had made him as old as he would be if Fleming had continued the novels into the 1980s. So that would presumably make Bond in his late 50s or older.

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Re: What age is Bond in the Gardner and Benson novels?

Interesting question.
Gardner- If we're going by Pearson's claim in the Authorised Biography that Bond was born in 1920, that would correspondingly make him 61 in Licence Renewed, set in 1981. However my thinking is Bond is only meant to be in his early fifties in LR- enough to be visibly older than in the Fleming books, but still just about capable of carrying off the fighting/action elements of the plot...


Benson- Benson was instructed to make his version of Bond similar to the Pierce Brosnan incarnation, which presumably involved 'de-aging' Bond to be in his mid-thirties or thereabouts, to fit in with the contemporary depiction in the films. The jury's out on whether Benson's Bond in the direct film-to-book novelisations is meant to be exactly the same age as Brosnan- which would make Benson's Bond 49 during the events of Die Another Day.

So I think in general, Gardner's 007 is in his early fifties but does not age, while Benson's Bond could be between his mid thirties to late forties. What do others think?

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Re: What age is Bond in the Gardner and Benson novels?

I agree SpectreOfDefeat Gardner did de-age Bond slightly to try and keep him
a healthy and fit 50 something. Benson seemed to modernise Bond to keep him
much younger, at least that's the impression I had.

“I remember the last thing my Nan said to me before she died.
‘What are you doing here with that hammer?’”..... Lee Mack.

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Re: What age is Bond in the Gardner and Benson novels?

As Raymond Benson pointed out in his “Bedside Companion” Gardner hinted at an older Bond with the mention of Bond noticing gray hair on his temples, but IMO Gardner didn’t age him in close adherence to Fleming’s chronology. Benson’s Bond seemed to be in his prime age, but the narratives accounted for the Fleming stories in which Bond experienced some middle age crisis, and immediately what comes to mind are OHMSS and YOLT. Literature is an interesting medium!

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: What age is Bond in the Gardner and Benson novels?

I think it's a 'floating timeline'. In Licence Renewed, Bond seems to be about 43, as he's going grey at the temples, as mentioned. But that's as far as it went.

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Re: What age is Bond in the Gardner and Benson novels?

I think Gardner had him in his late 40s in LR.  I always imagined Sir Roger in the Gardner books and Brozzer in the Benson ones and I think age-wise Sir Rog was closer to the age of Gardner's incarnation.