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M Bibliography

MLA: Encyclopedia

How to Cite an Encyclopedia in Print in MLA

Be sure to include the name of author (if given), the name of the article, the name of the reference book, the edition, and the year of publication. If the reference book is well known, do not include the publication information.


Last, First M., and First M. Last. "Article Title." Encyclopedia Name. City: Publisher, Year Published. Page(s). Print.


McGhee, Karen, and George McKay. "Insects." Encyclopedia of Animals. Washington: National Geographic Society, 2007. 170-71. Print

Posner, Rebecca. "Romance Languages." The Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropedia. 15th ed. 1987. Print.

How to Cite an Encyclopedia Online in MLA


Last, First M., and First M. Last. "Article Title." Encyclopedia Name. City: Publisher, Year Published. Website Title. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.


McGhee, Karen, and George McKay. "Insects." Encyclopedia of Animals. Washington: National Geographic Society, 2007. Google Books. Web. 2 Jan. 2010.

Hassler, Warren W. "American Civil War." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., n.d. Web. 2 Jan. 2013.

How to Cite an Encyclopedia on a Database in MLA


Last, First M. "Article Title" Encyclopedia Name. Ed. First M. Last. Vol. Volume. City: Publisher, Year Published. Database Name. Web Date Month Year.


Holmes, Heather. "Advertising of Food" Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Ed. Solomon H. Katz. Vol. 1. New York: Scribner's, 2003. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 July 2010.

Bunson, Margaret R. "Historical Overview." Encyclopedia on Ancient Egypt. 3rd ed. New York: Infobase, 2012. Xii-Xv. Gale Cengage Catalog. Web. 4 Jan. 2013.

Make sure to:

  • Choose if the source was published directly online or originally in print.
  • Find the date that the article was electronically published.
  • For well-known reference works, it is not necessary to include full publication information.

View our visual citation guide on how to cite an Encyclopedia in MLA format.

M is a fictional character in Ian Fleming's James Bond book and film series; the characterized is the Head of the Secret Intelligence Service—also known as MI6—and is Bond's superior. Fleming based the character on a number of people he knew who commanded sections of British intelligence. M has appeared in the novels by Fleming and seven continuation authors, as well as appearing in twenty-four films. In the Eon Productionsseries of films, M has been portrayed by four actors: Bernard Lee, Robert Brown, Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes, the incumbent; in the two independent productions, M was played by John Huston, David Niven and Edward Fox.


Fleming based much of M's character on Rear AdmiralJohn Godfrey, who was Fleming's superior at the Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War. After Fleming's death, Godfrey complained "He turned me into that unsavoury character, M."[1]

Other possible inspirations include Lieutenant Colonel Sir Claude Dansey, the deputy head of MI6 and head of the wartime Z network, who achieved different interpretations of his character from those who knew him: Malcolm Muggeridge thought him "the only professional in MI6", while Hugh Trevor-Roper considered Dansey to be "an utter shit, corrupt, incompetent, but with a certain low cunning". A further inspiration for M was Maxwell Knight, the head of MI5, who signed his memos as "M" and whom Fleming knew well.[1] The tradition of the head of MI6 signing their name with a single letter came from Mansfield Smith-Cumming, who would sign his initial "C" with green ink.

Another possibility for the model of M was William Melville, an Irishman who became the head of the Secret Service Bureau, the forerunner to both MI5 and MI6: Melville was referred to within government circles as M.[4] Melville recruited Sidney Reilly into government service and foiled an assassination plot against Queen Victoria on her 1887 Golden Jubilee. Fleming's biographer John Pearson also hypothesised that Fleming's characterisation of M reflects memories of his mother:

There is reason for thinking that a more telling lead to the real identity of M lies in the fact that as a boy Fleming often called his mother M. ... While Fleming was young, his mother was certainly one of the few people he was frightened of, and her sternness toward him, her unexplained demands, and her remorseless insistence on success find a curious and constant echo in the way M handles that hard-ridden, hard-killing agent, 007.

John Pearson, The Life of Ian Fleming


Fleming's third Bond novel, Moonraker, establishes M's initials as "M**** M*******" and his first name is subsequently revealed to be Miles. In the final novel of the series, The Man with the Golden Gun, M's full identity is revealed as Vice Admiral Sir Miles Messervy KCMG, CB, DSO, OBE; Messervy had been appointed to head of MI6 after his predecessor had been assassinated at his desk.

A naval theme runs throughout Fleming's description of M and his surroundings, and his character was described by journalist and Bond scholar Ben Macintyre as "every inch the naval martinet". Macintyre also notes that in his study of Fleming's work, Kingsley Amis outlined the way Fleming had described M's voice, being: angry (three times); brutal, cold (seven times); curt, dry (five times); gruff (seven times); stern, testy (five times).

Over the course of twelve novels and two collections of short stories, Fleming provided a number of details relating to M's background and character. In On Her Majesty's Secret Service it is revealed that M's pay as head of the Secret Service is £6,500 a year, (£124,910 in 2018 pounds[11]) £1,500 of which comes from retired naval pay. Although his pay is good for the 1950s and 1960s, it is never explained how M received or can afford his membership at Blades, an upscale private club for gentlemen he frequents in London to gamble and dine. Blades has a restricted membership of only 200 gentlemen and all must be able to show £100,000 (£1,921,689 in 2018 pounds[11]) in cash or gilt-edged securities. Kingsley Amis noted in his study, The James Bond Dossier, that on M's salary his membership of the club would have been puzzling. As a personal favour to M, the staff at Blades keeps a supply of cheap red wine from Algeria on hand but does not include it on the wine list. M refers to it as "Infuriator" and tends only to drink it in moderate quantities unless he is in a very bad mood.

The academic Paul Stock argues that M's office is a metonym for England and a stable point from which Bond departs on a mission, whilst he sees M as being an iconic representative of England and Englishness.

In the first post-Fleming book, Colonel Sun, M is kidnapped from Quarterdeck, his home, and Bond goes to great lengths to rescue him. The later continuation books, written by John Gardner, retain Sir Miles Messervy as M, who protects Bond from the new, less aggressive climate in the Secret Service, saying that at some point Britain will need "a blunt instrument". In Gardner's final novel, COLD, M is kidnapped and rescued by Bond and finishes the book by retiring from MI6. Continuation Bond author Raymond Benson's 1998 novel The Facts of Death continued Messervy's retirement, where he still resides in Quarterdeck. The book also introduces a new M, Barbara Mawdsley.


Eon Productions films[edit]

Bernard Lee: 1962–1979[edit]

M was played by Bernard Lee from the first Bond film, Dr. No, until Moonraker (1979). In Dr. No, M refers to his record of reducing the number of operative casualties since taking the job, implying someone else held the job recently before him. The film also saw M refer to himself as head of MI7; Lee had originally said MI6, but was overdubbed with the name MI7 prior to the film's release. Earlier in the film, the department had been referred to as MI6 by a radio operator.

A number of Bond scholars have noted that Lee's interpretation of the character was in line with the original literary representation; Cork and Stutz observed that Lee was "very close to Fleming's version of the character", while Rubin commented on the serious, efficient, no-nonsense authority figure. Smith and Lavington, meanwhile, remarked that Lee was "the very incarnation of Fleming's crusty admiral."

Lee died of cancer in January 1981, four months into the filming of For Your Eyes Only and before any of his scenes could be filmed.[26] Out of respect, no new actor was hired to assume the role and, instead, the script was re-written so that the character is said to be on leave, with his lines given to either his Chief of Staff Bill Tanner or the Minister of Defence, Sir Frederick Gray. Later films referred to Lee's tenure as head of the service, with a painting of him as M in MI6's Scottish headquarters during the 1999 instalment The World Is Not Enough.

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Robert Brown: 1983–1989[edit]

After Lee's death in 1981, the producers hired actor Robert Brown to play M in Octopussy. Brown had previously played Admiral Hargreaves, Flag Officer Submarines, in the 1977 film, The Spy Who Loved Me. Bond scholars Steven Jay Rubin, John Cork, and Collin Stutz all consider Admiral Hargreaves would have been appointed to the role of M, rather than Brown playing a different character as M.

Pfeiffer and Worrall considered that whilst Brown looks perfect, the role had been softened from that of Lee; they also considered him "far too avuncular", although in Licence to Kill they remarked that he came across as being very effective as he removed Bond's double-0 licence. Continuation author Raymond Benson agrees, noting that the M role was "once again underwritten, and Brown is not allowed the opportunity to explore and reveal his character traits"; Benson also considered the character to be "too nice".

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Judi Dench: 1995–2015[edit]

After the long period between Licence to Kill and GoldenEye, the producers brought in Dame Judi Dench to take over as the new M replacing Robert Brown. The character is based on Stella Rimington, the real-life head of MI5 between 1992 and 1996. For GoldenEye, Dench's M is cold, blunt and initially dislikes Bond, whom she calls a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War." Tanner, her Chief of Staff, refers to her during the film as "the Evil Queen of Numbers", given her reputation at that stage for relying on statistics and analysis rather than impulse and initiative.

Following Pierce Brosnan's departure from the role, Dench continued playing M for the 2006 film Casino Royale, which rebooted the series with Daniel Craig playing Bond. In this new continuity, M has worked for MI6 for some time, at one point muttering, "Christ, I miss the Cold War". According to Skyfall, M was previously in charge of MI6's operations in Hong Kong during the 1990s. Her ability to run MI6 has been questioned several times; in Casino Royale, she is the subject of a review when Bond is caught shooting an unarmed prisoner and blowing up a foreign embassy on camera; in Quantum of Solace, the Foreign Secretary orders her to personally withdraw Bond from the field in Bolivia and to stop any investigations into Dominic Greene's eco-terrorist organisation; and in Skyfall, she is the subject of a public inquiry when MI6 loses a computer hard drive containing the identities of undercover agents around the world.[41]Skyfall marks Dench's seventh and final appearance as M, where she is targeted by former MI6 agent Raoul Silva, whom she turned over to the Chinese in order to save six other agents. She is shot and killed in the film, making her the only M to die in the Eon Bond films. Dench's M makes a cameo appearance in Spectre in a video will, giving Bond a final order to hunt down and terminate someone, which ultimately leads him to the film's titular criminal organisation.

There have also been brief references to M's family: in GoldenEye, she responds to Tanner calling her the "Evil Queen of Numbers" by telling him that when she wants to hear sarcasm she will listen to her children.Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster suggested that Dench's casting gave the character maternal overtones in her relationship with Bond,[44] overtones made overt in Skyfall, in which Silva repeatedly refers to her as "Mother" and "Mommy".[45] In Skyfall she is revealed to be a widow.

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Ralph Fiennes: 2012–present[edit]

After the death of Judi Dench's M at the end of Skyfall, she is succeeded by Gareth Mallory, played by Ralph Fiennes. Mallory had been the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee prior to heading up MI6, and is a former lieutenant colonel in the British Army.[51] He served in Northern Ireland with the "Hereford Regiment" (assumed by many commentators to mean the Special Air Service) during the Troubles, where he had been held hostage by the Irish Republican Army for three months.[52] In Spectre, the 00 Section of MI6 is briefly dismantled in addition to Mallory being demoted. He assists Bond in the field when it is revealed that the Nine Eyes initiative is part of Spectre's plan for world domination.

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Non-Eon films[edit]

John Huston/David Niven: 1967[edit]

The 1967 satire Casino Royale featured not one but two Ms. The first is played by John Huston, who also co-directed.[53] In this film, M's real name is McTarry and he is accidentally killed when, in order to get Bond out of retirement, he orders the military to fire mortars at Bond's mansion when the retired spy refuses to return to duty. The first quarter of the film features Bond's subsequent visit to McTarry Castle in Scotland, on a quest to return the only piece of M's remains recovered after the attack—his bright red toupée. Subsequently, Bond—played by David Niven—becomes the new M and proceeds to order that all MI6 agents, male and female, be renamed "James Bond 007" in order to confuse the enemy.

Edward Fox: 1983[edit]

In 1983's Never Say Never Again, Edward Fox played M as a bureaucrat, contemptuous of Bond—far removed from the relationship shared between Bernard Lee's M and Sean Connery's Bond; the academic Jeremy Black notes that the contempt felt for the 00 section by Fox's M was reciprocated by Connery's Bond. Fox's M is also younger than any of the previous incarnations. The media historian James Chapman notes that whilst M considers Bond to be an out-dated relic, the Foreign Secretary orders the 00 section to be re-activated.


M appeared in every James Bond comic book released from 1962 to 1995. With the relaunch of the series in 2015 by Dynamite Entertainment, M is once again Bond's superior. In a notable departure from both the original novels and the movies, M is black instead of white,[60] and his identity is revealed to be none other than Miles Messervy when he was referred to by his first name in Hammerhead.[61] M is scheduled to have his own one-shot comic book in which his backstory is explored while dealing with his past that comes back to haunt him, delivered by creators Declan Shalvey and P.J. Holden.[62]


Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic series establishes that the 1898-era League (led by Mina Harker) was directed by Campion Bond (James Bond's grandfather), who served under a master called M. This M was later revealed to be none other than James Moriarty in disguise, using the League to win a gang war against Fu Manchu. After the death of Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes's older brother Mycroft Holmes assumed the role of M. In the sequel volume The Black Dossier, set during a moribund and dystopian 1950s post-war Britain, the head of the British secret service, M, is Harry Lime, from Graham Greene's The Third Man. In the final volume of Century, spanning from 1910 to 2009, the M of 2009 is an elderly Emma Peel from The Avengers.[65] In the 2003 film adaptation of the series, M is once again Moriarty, and played by Richard Roxburgh.[66]


  1. ^ abMacintyre, Ben (5 April 2008). "Bond – the real Bond". The Times. p. 36. 
  2. ^Sharrock, David (2 July 2007). "M: Britain's first spymaster was an Irishman who played patriot game". The Times. p. 39. 
  3. ^ abUK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  4. ^"Obituary: Mr Bernard Lee". The Times. 19 January 1981. p. 12. 
  5. ^"From Russia With Love Tech Info". CBS Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  6. ^Miller, Henry K. (26 October 2012). "Film of the week: Skyfall". Sight & Sound. British Film Institute. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  7. ^Nathan, Ian (October 2008). "Quantum's Leap". Empire. p. 87. 
  8. ^James, Caryn (11 November 2012). "Skyfall: Bond Is Older, Wiser, Better". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  9. ^"James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing Review". James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing Xbox. IGN Entertainment. 18 February 2004. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  10. ^"GoldenEye: Rogue Agent". GoldenEye: Rogue Agent PlayStation 2. IGN Entertainment. 22 November 2004. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  11. ^East, Tom (4 November 2008). "Making Of Quantum Of Solace". Nintendo magazine. Future plc. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  12. ^"E3 2010: GoldenEye Reimagined for Wii". GoldenEye 007 Wii. IGN Entertainment. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  13. ^"James Bond 007: Blood Stone Review". James Bond 007: Blood Stone Xbox 360. IGN Entertainment. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  14. ^Pande, Sophia (9 November 2012). "Skyfall". Nepali Times. Kathmandu. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  15. ^French, Philip (28 October 2012). "Skyfall – review". The Observer. London. p. 32. 
  16. ^"Casino Royale (1967)". Allrovi. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  17. ^James Bond #1
  18. ^James Bond: Hammerhead #4
  19. ^"Dynamite to explore backstory of 'M' in new comic". The Book Bond. November 21, 2017. 
  20. ^""The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1999" Review". The Comics Journal. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  21. ^Kerr, Philip (27 October 2003). "In a league of its own". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 6 September 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 


  • Amis, Kingsley (1966). The James Bond Dossier. London: Pan Books. OCLC 752401390. 
  • Benson, Raymond (1988). The James Bond Bedside Companion. London: Boxtree Ltd. ISBN 1-85283-234-7. 
  • Black, Jeremy (2005). The politics of James Bond: from Fleming's novel to the big screen. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-8032-6240-9. 
  • Chapman, James (2009). Licence to Thrill: A cultural history of the James Bond films. New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-515-9. 
  • Comentale, Edward P; Watt, Stephen; Willman, Skip (2005). Ian Fleming & James Bond: the cultural politics of 007. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21743-1. 
  • Cork, John; Stutz, Collin (2007). James Bond encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-1-4053-3427-3. 
  • Griswold, John (2006). Ian Fleming's James Bond: annotations and chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond stories. AuthorHouse. ISBN 1-4259-3100-6. 
  • Jütting, Kerstin (2007). "Grow Up, 007!" – James Bond over the decades: formula vs. innovation. GRIN Verlag. ISBN 978-3-638-85372-9. 
  • Lane, Andy; Simpson, Paul (2002). The Bond Files: An Unofficial Guide to the World's Greatest Secret Agent. London: Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0-7535-0712-4. 
  • Lejeune, Anthony (1979). The gentlemen's clubs of London. London: Mayflower Books. ISBN 978-0-8317-3800-6. 
  • Lindner, Christoph (2009). The James Bond Phenomenon: a Critical Reader. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-6541-5. 
  • Macintyre, Ben (2008). For Your Eyes Only. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7475-9527-4. 
  • McKay, Sinclair (2008). The man with the golden touch: how the Bond films conquered the world. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-84513-355-9. 
  • Morrison, Grant (2011). Supergods. London: Random House. ISBN 978-0-224-08996-8. 
  • Pearson, John (1966). The Life of Ian Fleming. London: Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-02082-X. 
  • Pfeiffer, Lee; Worrall, Dave (1998). The essential Bond. London: Boxtree Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7522-2477-0. 
  • Rimington, Stella (2008). Open secret: the autobiography of the former Director-General of MI5. London: Arrow Books. ISBN 978-0-09-943672-0. 
  • Rubin, Steven Jay (2003). The complete James Bond movie encyclopedia. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-141246-8. 
  • Simpson, Paul (2002). The rough guide to James Bond. Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-84353-142-5. 
  • Smith, Jim; Lavington, Stephen (2002). Bond films
Bernard Lee, who played M from 1962 to 1979
Robert Brown, who played M from 1983 to 1989
Judi Dench, who played M from 1995 to 2015
Ralph Fiennes, the incumbent actor in the role

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