John Le Carré: Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy (4110 words)


During the 1930s, the security and operations of Western secret services were periodically compromised by some of their own agents who embraced communism as a viable alternative to fascism and, acting on that belief, passed secrets to hostile governments. In Britain, one group of such agents who held positions of authority came to be known as the Cambridge Spy Ring or the Cambridge Five. The felonies and disloyalty of the Cambridge Five have in the ensuing decades become inspiration for numerous literary works because these agents’ betrayals were of their class and its values as well as of their country.

Contemporaries Harold “Kim” Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, John Cairncross, and Sir Anthony Blunt …

Citation: Beene, LynnDianne. "Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 September 2020 [, accessed 24 November 2020.]

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