Thursday, March 11, 2010
james bond was born today
On 11 March 1911, Sir Fitzroy MacLean, the Scottish soldier, diplomat, politician and author was born. A founder member of the SAS and reportedly the inspiration for Ian Fleming's character, James Bond, he is probably best known for his exploits during the Second World War.
Fitzroy Maclean owes his place in history to the extraordinary 18 months he spent as Winston Churchill's special envoy to the Yugoslav leader Josip Tito in 1943-45. He sometimes expressed regret that, as with his hero Bonnie Prince Charlie, the historically significant portion of his life was compressed into 18 months at a comparatively young age. More dispassionate commentators would say that he packed an unbelievable amount into his 85 years. Maclean always believed in the motto that it was better to live a day as a tiger than a year as a donkey, but in fact he managed to combine the excitement of the one with the longevity of the other.
His background as member of a Scottish clan and its Jacobite connection was extremely important to him. "Thank God I am a Maclean" was the family motto.
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