One of the world’s great spy novel authors, John le Carré, took Irish citizenship shortly before his death after becoming disillusioned with England over Brexit, hit son Nicholas says in a new documentary.
The author of novels including The Little Dummer Girl, The Night Manager and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, all of which had successful screen adaptations, discovered his Irish roots and opted to take Irish citizenship before he passed away at the age of 89 in December. You can read our obit here.
Upcoming BBC Radio 4 documentary A Writer and His Country, which will broadcast on Saturday April 3, chronicles how le Carre was affected by the UK’s decision to go to war with Iraq in 2003, and how he was staunchly opposed to the Brexit vote, which saw the population vote to leave the European Union.
“This is without doubt the greatest catastrophe and the greatest idiocy that Britain has perpetrated since the invasion of Suez,” le Carre said of Brexit at the time. “Nobody is to blame but the Brits themselves – not the Irish, not the Europeans.”
He discovered he qualified for an Irish passport via his maternal grandmother, Olive Wolfe, and completed the process before his passing, his son explained.
“The Irish connection was very real and it mattered to him very much,” Nicholas says in the doc, as reported by the Irish Times.
Le Carré’s final novel, Agent Running in the Field, describes the UK’s now PM Boris Johnson, a key figure in the vote to leave the EU, as “a pig-ignorant foreign secretary”. The book depicted collusion between the UK and U.S. to subvert the EU.