UK: Top author hands over archives to Oxford

Dumpy, drab and described by his unfaithful wife as "breathtakingly ordinary", the British master spy George Smiley still managed to become one of modern fiction's most unforgettable characters, writes Jennifer Howard for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Now he has come back home with the donation by his creator, John Le Carré's, of the author's literary archive to Oxford University's Bodleian Library.

John le Carré is the pen name of the novelist David Cornwell, an ex-spy and Oxford graduate himself. Over a 50-year career, he has used the cloak-and-dagger - or mackintosh-and-pistol - genre to document the mind-set and casualties of the Cold War and subsequent geopolitical upheavals. He has written 22 novels, among them The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, The Tailor of Panama and The Constant Gardener as well as the Smiley novels.

"I am delighted to be able to do this," Le Carré said in a handwritten note whose contents were released with the official announcement. "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."
Full report on the Chronicle site