John le Carre gifts archive to Oxford library

John le Carre offered his literary archive to Bodleian Library of Oxford.

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2011, 18:38 PM IST

London: John le Carre, one of the world`s
most celebrated authors, has offered his literary archive to
Oxford University`s Bodleian Library with the intention that
it should become its permanent home.

Le Carre 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."
Richard Ovenden, Keeper of Special Collections and
Associate Director of the Bodleian Libraries, said: "We are
enormously grateful that John le Carr? has made his archive
available to the Bodleian.

It is compelling primary evidence of a major cultural
contribution to a literary genre and will offer scholars
important insights into his work."
To mark the arrival of the archive, the Bodleian is
displaying a small selection of le Carr?`s working papers for
members of the public to see on World Book Day, 3 March, a
university release said.

This will include sections from the various
handwritten and typed drafts of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
which show how the novel evolved in the process of composition
from its early working title, `The Reluctant Autumn of George
Smiley`, to the final published text.

The display will also include private photographs of
le Carr? with Alec Guinness, who memorably starred in the 1979
BBC series, as well as manuscripts of two of le Carr?s own
favourite novels, The Tailor of Panama and The Constant

John le Carre is the nom de plume of David John Moore
Cornwell. His writing career spans 50 years and 22 novels
which have been translated into 36 languages and adapted for
film, TV and radio.

He is renowned for his intricate espionage and
political fiction, and for the creation of one of modern
literature`s most subtle and carefully crafted protagonists,
George Smiley.

Le Carre`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.

He has also pointed to the enduring influence upon him
of his time as an undergraduate at Oxford. The complex and
brilliantly drawn character of Smiley owes something to the

Vivian Green who was Rector of Lincoln College, where
le Carr? read Modern Languages and graduated with a First
Class Honours degree. Previously, Green had been Chaplain at
Sherborne School while le Carre was a pupil.