School bullies inspire Fleming for 2 of his biggest and baddest villains
It had previously been thought that Fleming took the names from his own schooldays at Eton, but instead the names are from two bullies from his nephew’s school.
The boys, Peter Scaramanga and John Blofeld, attended Sunningdale Preparatory School with Fleming’s nephew Nichol Fleming. However, he was six years younger than the two accused. Fleming heard stories of Scaramanga and Blofeld bullying other pupils, so he sought revenge by naming his deadliest villains after them.
It was always thought that Fleming had taken the names from his school days, but current Sunningdale headmaster, Tom Dawson says, ‘What I have always been told is that Scaramanga and Blofeld were not terribly nice to Fleming so Ian Fleming used them as the baddies in the books.’
Blofeld went onto become a judge, Scaramanga followed a life of crime
Nichol Fleming, who later became a writer like his famous uncle, passed away in 1996. John Blofeld, the brother of cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, went on to become a High Court judge, while Peter Scaramanga’s life took a path closest to that of a Bond villain.
After being expelled from Harrow School, Scaramanga was arrested in 1959 at a suspected illegal gambling den playing baccarat, one of 007’s favourite pursuits. He also had a conviction for smashing up a well-known Chelsea restaurant quashed in the early 1960s but appeared in court again in 1971, where he pleaded guilty to fraud charges at the Old Bailey.
Tom Dawson, the current headmaster of Sunningdale, confirmed that Scaramanga and Blofeld were not very nice to Fleming, leading to the author using their names as his baddies.
John Blofeld’s son, Tom Blofeld, also believes that his father and Scaramanga inspired the Bond villains, and imagined Fleming being told by his nephew that school was “ghastly because two prefects, Blofeld and Scaramanga, were making his life a misery”.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Sir John Blofeld claims that he has no recollection of whether he was at school with, or whether he even bullied a boy called Fleming.
Nonetheless, the revelation that the real-life Blofeld and Scaramanga were based on schoolmates of the Bond author adds a fascinating dimension to the backstory of two of the franchise’s most notorious villains.
Blofeld and Scaramanga Real life Bullies
The revelation that the real-life Blofeld and Scaramanga were based on bullies Ian Fleming’s nephew’s school adds an intriguing dimension to the backstory of two of the most notorious Bond villains in the Bond franchise.
And while the three of them went down different avenues in life, some a bit closer to the characters they helped create, it’s always interesting to piece together bits of the James Bond puzzle.