Maria Freudenstein is a character in the James Bond novels. She is the subject of the 1964 short-story "The Property of a Lady" and is briefly mentioned in Ian Fleming's last novel, The Man with the Golden Gun.

Novel Biography

Freudenstein is a known double-agent who works for the KGB. She receives a Faberge crafted clock from the Russians that is supposed to be auctioned at Sotheby's auction house. The Russians intend to bid up the price of the item in order to pay Maria for her services. James Bond must attend an auction at Sotherby's in order to help identify an Soviet agent.

According to her dossier in the story, she was born in France in 1935, the illegitimate daughter of a woman who later became a member of the French Resistance during World War II. After Maria graduated from the Sorbonne, she worked for a naval attaché in the British Embassy in Paris as a translator. There, she was blackmailed into working for the NKVD by her mother’s friends from the Resistance after some "unattractive sexual business". She started working for the Foreign Office in 1959 as a cipher clerk in the "Purple Cipher" after being trained as a Soviet agent. However at the time she was hired, she was suspected of being a Russian agent.

She is essentially tasked with sending phony SITREPS to Washington D.C., which she copies and sends to Moscow unaware that they are forgeries. According to the ticket for the auction, we surmise that the events take place in June 1961 - making her about 26 years old at the beginning of the story. She was described by Bond as being “unattractive” and having "black hair" and "pale and pimply skin" and a "vaguely unwashed appearance". Bond also makes reference to her "flattish bosoms".

A reference is made to Maria Freudenstein in The Man with the Golden Gun, in the very first chapter "Can I Help you?". However, due to a typographical error, she was called Maria Freundenstadt. In the novel excerpt in the April 1965 issue of Playboy, her name is Freudenstein, not Freudenstadt.

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