John Le Carré

(3605 words)

David John Moore Cornwell, known to millions of readers as John le Carré, rightly believes that “If childhood is the balance of the writer, then I was born a millionaire.” Cornwell was born in the genteel south-coast town of Poole, Dorset, on October 19th, 1931, to a reprobate father, Ronald (“Ronnie”) Thomas Archibald Cornwell (1906-75) and an emotionally unstable mother Olive (“Glassy”) Cornwell who coldly abandoned her family when Cornwell was only five. This betrayal lurks behind the morally-questionable mother character in several of le Carré's novels, from Maria Ostrakova (Smiley's People) to Single & Single's mother. Although he was reunited with her in the early 1950s, Cornwell never …

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Beene, LynnDianne. "John Le Carré". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Crime, Detective, Spy/ Thriller Fiction