Fleming's Model for Le Chiffre

There has been considerable speculation, from John Pearson among others, that the model for Ian Fleming's first James Bond villain, Le Chiffre, was none other than the infamous occultist and probable Satanist Aleister Crowley. I don't intend to either verify or debunk this speculation, and you can easily perform Internet research which will provide you with evidence one way or the other. Rather, I thought it might be interesting to quote Fleming's description of Le Chiffre, and then provide pictures of Crowley to see how well--or not--they synch up.

Fleming's first descriptive words about Le Chiffre are as follows:

"...Le Chiffre, with the silence and economy of movement of a big fish, came through the opening in the brass rail and, with a cold smile of welcome for the table, took his place directly opposite Bond in the Banker's chair."

Next, Fleming notes that Le Chiffre has "a thick, white forefinger...."

Later, "Le Chiffre looked incuriously at him, the whites of his eyes, which showed all around the irises, lending something impassive and doll-like to his gaze."

"He slowly removed one thick hand from the table and slipped it into the pocket of his dinner jacket. The hand came out holding a small metal cylinder with a cap which Le Chiffre unscrewed. He inserted the nozzle of the cylinder, with an obscene deliberation, twice into each black nostril in turn, and luxuriously inhaled the benzedrine vapour."

Fleming then says that Le Chiffre has a "wide expanse of white face surmounted by [a] short abrupt cliff of reddish brown hair, [an] unsmiling wet red mouth, and...impressive width of the shoulders, loosely draped in a massively cut dinner-jacket."

"But for the highlights on the satin of the shawl-cut lapels, he might have been faced by the thick bust of a black-fleeced Minotaur rising up from a green grass field."

These are the principal descriptions of Le Chiffre.

Now for a few images of Crowley.

220px-Aleister_Crowley.jpg

crowley.jpg

Aleister_Crowley-e1441872119567-1440x564_c.jpg

head-bw.jpg

crowley-2-bw_edited-comp.jpg

Draw your own conclusions. Tomorrow I will revisit the thread and kick in my tuppence.

Comments

  • JamesBondKenyaJamesBondKenya Danny Boyle laughs to himself
    Posts: 2,730
    Goldfinger kinda looks like le chiffere
  • edited April 2017 Posts: 2,483
    nm
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe The long road ahead
    Posts: 8,236
    Those last two photos look way more recent, as if they aren't even of the same person.
  • Posts: 2,483
    Yes, he was older in the last two. And he was clearly trying to look menacing--and succeeding.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited April 2017 Posts: 18,008
    Those last two photos look way more recent, as if they aren't even of the same person.

    Yes, that's what I thought too. They look much more recent too, almost as if someone is dressed up as him?
  • Posts: 2,483
    Those last two photos look way more recent, as if they aren't even of the same person.

    Actually, you're right. It is an actor who performed the role of Crowley in a play he wrote.

  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited April 2017 Posts: 18,008
    Those last two photos look way more recent, as if they aren't even of the same person.

    Actually, you're right. It is an actor who performed the role of Crowley in a play he wrote.

    I thought as much, having researched Crowley over the years and having seen many different pictures of him. If you in fact knew this beforehand I'm not really sure why you included them as "images of Crowley" himself when they are anything but.
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