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By Allan Hepburn

Why do spies have such cachet within the 20th century? Why do they maintain reinventing themselves? What do they suggest in a political procedure? This publication examines the culture of the secret agent narrative from its inception within the overdue 19th century in the course of the state-of-the-art. starting from John le Carré’s bestsellers to Elizabeth Bowen’s novels, from James Bond to John Banville’s modern narratives, Allan Hepburn units the historic contexts of those fictions: the Cambridge secret agent ring; the Profumo Affair; the witch-hunts opposed to homosexual males within the civil provider and diplomatic corps within the 1950s.

Instead of targeting the formulaic nature of the style, Intrigue emphasizes the responsiveness of secret agent tales to specific historic contingencies. Hepburn starts by way of providing a scientific thought of the conventions and sights of espionage fiction after which examines the British and Irish culture of secret agent novels. a last part considers the actual shape that American undercover agent narratives have taken as they've got cross-fertilized with the culture of yankee romance in works akin to Joan Didion’s Democracy and John Barth’s Sabbatical.

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