»Granville’s story is told, inevitably, through the eyes of others, principally men, who tended to project onto her the fantasy of what they wanted to see. Of no man is this truer than the one who killed her: Dennis Muldowney, an unstable and infatuated ship’s steward unable to cope with Granville’s rejection after a brief affair. Muldowney stalked her, and then stabbed her in the heart in June 1952. He was condemned to death, and went to the gallows proclaiming he was “still very much in love” with the unsung heroine he had killed.«
Biography: Ben Macintyre about the book The Spy who loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville by Clare Mulley. His review at The New York Times.
»With all this going on, it may not be surprising that popular trust in government is breaking down. It is what the Victorians would have expected. We’re no longer so surprised by revelations such as this, which is sad. But the real change will have come if we are no longer outraged by them – then we really will have changed as a nation.«
Espionage involves deception and betrayal, usually of people you have pretended to befriend. It’s a sordid business, says Bernard Porter. His review of the non fiction book Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police by journalists Paul Lewis and Rob Evans at The Guardian.
»Does anyone remember how we got dragged into the Iraq war – apart obviously from the dodgy dossier composed with the complicity of MI6? We went to war on the strength of information supplied by two ingenious fabricators.«
John le Carré
The influence of spies has become too much: Author John le Carré on secret courts, surveillance and the excessive influence of the CIA and MI6 on democratic institutions. His essay at The Guardian.
»What have I learned over the last 50 years? Come to think of it, not much. Just that the morals of the secret world are very like our own.«
John le Carré
After a decade in the intelligence service, John le Carré‘s political disgust and personal confusion ‘exploded’ in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Fifty years later he asks how much has changed. His essay at The Guardian.
P.S.: You can read an extract from the spy writer’s latest novel A Delicate Truth here.
»Did Agatha Christie have a spy in the government’s top-secret codebreaking centre at Bletchley Park?«
Agatha Christie was investigated by MI5 over Bletchley Park mystery, Richard Norton-Taylor reports. Read more at The Guardian.
»When I was growing up, my favorite book was Erich Kästner‘s Emil and the Detectives, about a gang of kids on the heels of a thief in 1920s Berlin. To this day, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a pacey thriller set in my adopted city.«
Jane Paulick with an essay about spies and serial killers in Berlin. Read more at dw.de.
»Clare Mulley has done a dogged piece of detective work piecing together Christine’s ultimately tragic life.«
Nigel Jones about the biography The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville by Clare Mulley. His review at telegraph.co.uk.
»What’s interesting is how so much of what’s great about Where Eagles Dare the movie has its genesis in Where Eagles Dare the novel.«
Louis XIV, “The Sun King” (Nick Jones) about Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean. His view at Existential Ennui.