David Cornwell - whose nom de plume was John le Carré

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by Ramiles, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Bodleian Libraries | One of the world's most celebrated authors, John le Carre, passes

    One of the world's most celebrated authors, John le Carre, passes (12th December 2020)

    John le Carré, one of the world's most celebrated authors, has died aged 89 after a short illness. The Bodleian Libraries offers its sincerest condolences to his family.

    Black and white image of author John le Carre

    Born in Poole in 1931, David Cornwell, whose nom de plume was John le Carré, was educated at Sherborne School and studied German literature at the University of Bern, Switzerland before moving to the University of Oxford. Le Carré's intelligence officer character of George Smiley owes something to the Reverend Vivian Green who was Rector of Lincoln College, where le Carré read Modern Languages and graduated with a First Class Honours degree.
    With a literary career spanning almost 60 years, le Carré's evocative accounts of the cold war era in novels such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974) and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) were drawn in part from his own experiences working for MI5 and MI6. In later life, he drew from the enduring influence of his time as an undergraduate at Oxford with novels such as Our Kind of Traitor (2010) which features a young Oxford academic who becomes embroiled in a murky Establishment intelligence plot.
    Between 2010 and 2013, the Bodleian Libraries became the proud recipient of le Carré's literary archive, which filled a space the size of a Cornish barn and now takes up 90 metres of shelving in the libraries. Including handwritten drafts, proofs and personal papers, the archive is expected to be of great importance to future literary historians and biographers. When announcing the decision in 2011 to place his archive in the Bodleian Libraries, le Carré said, 'I am delighted to be able to do this. Oxford was Smiley's spiritual home, as it is mine. And while I have the greatest respect for American universities, the Bodleian is where I shall most happily rest.'

    Image of a handwritten note by John le Carré offering his archive to the Bodleian

    Bodley's Librarian, Richard Ovenden OBE, said on hearing the sad news of le Carré's passing:

    'I was privileged to have known David and was enormously grateful that he agreed to place his archive in the Bodleian, where students and scholars have been enjoying the insight it provides into his masterworks. He was a giant of our culture as a whole, not just to the world of letters. Few writers have produced a body of work so uniform in both quality and in critical and popular acclaim. He remained at the top of his game right up to his most recent work, Agent Running in the Field. His death leaves an unfillable gap in English literature
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
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  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

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  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    BBC Four - Mark Lawson Talks To..., John le Carre

    Mark Lawson Talks To...John le Carre...
    John le Carre converses with Mark Lawson about his fragmented childhood, life in the diplomatic service, working with Alec Guinness and his book A Most Wanted Man. Le Carre worked as an intelligence officer in the 1970s before turning to writing full time. His personal experiences during the Cold War informed a string of best-selling espionage novels including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He also wrote the corporate corruption thriller The Constant Gardener, which became a Oscar-winning film.


    A brief history of George Smiley

    A brief history of George Smiley
    In John le Carré's new novel, A Legacy of Spies, George Smiley makes a comeback. But how much do you know about the events that made the man? Read on to discover the story behind the spy...
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020

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