Blown covers: the spy that drove a wedge between Le Carré and Greene
Kim Philby inspired the Cold War’s two greatest thriller writers – then he drove them apart
In early 1968 Graham Greene and John le Carré came into very public dispute.
It was an unexpected falling out; Greene had admired The Spy Who Came in from the Cold when it was published five years previously, so much so that he had written to Victor Gollancz, Le Carré’s publisher, trying to find out who was behind the pseudonym. Once David Cornwell’s authorship had been established, Greene sought to poach him for the Bodley Head, the publisher he represented.
For Le Carré, Greene was a profound influence, the novelist whose books were a guide as he emerged from a career in MI5 and SIS to become a writer...