Phyllis Bottome: Biography

Phyllis Bottome

31 maj 1884

Only few today remember the bold British Novelist Phyllis Bottome who was a best-selling author during the early part of the 20th century. She is also said to be the original creator of James Bond.

Born in Rochester, Kent, Phyllis studied individual psychology under the mentorship of Alfred Adler. During the later part of her life, Phyllis even wrote a biography of Alfred Adler and became popularly known as Adlerian.

Phyllis had great interest in psychology. Her understanding of people’s mind helped her to narrate stories and create scenes for her novels in a more realistic manner than her counterparts.

Phyllis married Ernan Forbes Dennis, who was a spy for the British Intelligence. In 1924, Phyllis and Dennis started a school in Kitzbuhel in Austria. Due to Phyllis’ extended interest in Psychology, they turned the school into a laboratory and tried to find a solution for the problem between nations using psychology and educational theory. One of their famous pupils was Ian Fleming.

Ian Fleming is the author of James Bond novels. But it is said that he conceived the idea of James Bond from the character Mark Chalmers in Phyllis novel, ‘The Lifeline’. Literally there would have been neither ‘007’ nor ‘Ian Fleming’ without Phyllis.

Four works of Phyllis namely ‘Private Worlds’, ‘The Mortal Storm’, ‘Danger Signal’ and ‘The Heart of a Child’ were made films. Phyllis daringly penned her thoughts. The film based on her novel, ‘The Mortal Storm’ was the first in history to mention Hitler’s name and also to be set in Nazi Germany.

Phyllis Bottome settled in Germany in the late 1930’s. Phyllis has also written many short stories. The collections of her literary papers are still available in the British Library.

Phyllis Bottome, known to be an active anti-fascist passed away in 1963 at the age of 79 in London leaving behind some of the great historical works.