It should be noted that James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007 (as it was originally published in England by Sidgwick & Jackson, complete with the American spelling) was not the only fictional spy biography published in the Seventies, nor the only one to feature James Bond! In 1977, Weidenfeld & Nicolson published John Steed: An Authorized Biography: Volume I: Jealous in Honour by Tim Held. At Eton, the young Steed encounters not only Patrick Macnee (invoking the same sort of deceptive co-existence of the real and the fictional found in Pearson's book), but also a very different James Bond than the one portrayed in Charlie Higson's books or Pearson's:
One factor which seems to have contributed to John's unhappiness at this time was the bullying which was an unfortunate feature of life in the school - or at least in those circles in which Steed moved. The main bully was a boy called Bond, later to achieve a certain notoriety in a career not totally unlike Steed's. Indeed their paths were to cross several times in adult life, seldom with profitable results. Although Bond was only two or so years older than Steed (a fact which will doubtless be disputed by Bond and his cronies) he was a great deal bigger. One of his fetishes was to make smaller boys stir his evening mug of cocoa for him, just as in later life he was to make a laughable affectation out of his insistence on dry martini cocktails being stirred rather than shaken. One day he demanded that Steed perform this service. Steed refused. Bond again insisted.John Steed: An Authorized Biography was only published in one edition, never to be reprinted. It is very hard to come by today, and sought by both Avengers and Bond collectors.
'Who the hell do you think you are?' enquired Steed, suggesting at the same time that he should pick on someone his own size.
'Bond, James Bond,' replied the bully, clearly expecting young Steed to fall grovelling at his feet.
'Well, Bond,' said Steed evenly,'If you'd like to present yourself behind the Fives Courts by Jordan in half an hour's time I'll show you in the only language you apparently understand, precisely why I have no intention of stirring your rotten cocoa.'
Alas, poor Bond! He had never heard of the Bodger business at Lydeard Lodge. Thirty minutes later he was waiting behind the fives courts, aglow with cocky truculence. Thirty-five minutes later he was being half dragged home by two of his familiars, his jaw and his ego both equally badly bruised. Yet even this success made little difference to Steed's happiness. He continued to find Eton not to his taste.
*I chalk up the lack of critical interest in The Moneypenny Diaries to an idiotic initial marketing strategy that backfired horribly. For some reason, IFP let John Murray pretend like they had acquired "real" documents, belonging to the "REAL" Miss Moneypenny and telling the "truth" about James Bond. While the literary conceit works in the context of the books (a conceit established by Ian Fleming in a jokey throw-away line in You Only Live Twice, and first exploited by Pearson), attempting to fool mainstream media and the public into believing such a ridiculous story was a grievous error in judgement. I suspect it led instead to critics writing off Ms. Weinberg’s impressive novel as a joke, or something for die-hard Bond fans only (many of whom were also alienated by the lame ploy), and not for general consumption. Both beliefs are fallacies. Weinberg’s Moneypenny Diaries (published under the pseudonym of "Kate Westbrook") are legitimate novels worthy of critical notice, and excellent additions to the Bond canon.