08 April 2021, The Tablet

Tinker, tailor, soldier, neighbour


A Writer and His Country: John le Carré Across Six Decades
BBC radio 4

Philippe Sands, who conducted this intriguing Archive on 4 (3 April), turns out to have been John le Carré’s Hampstead, north London, neighbour – a pub companion, the recipient of notes dropped through letter boxes and, by dint of his legal expertise, an occasional scanner of manuscripts prior to their finessing into print. That much of what Sands had to report about his late friend – espionage ­novelist le Carré died in December 2020 in his ninetieth year – was picked up over illicit rhubarb crumbles gave this trawl through the vaults an agreeably personal sheen.

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