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A Short History of George Smiley

Posted November 18, 2011 to photo album "A Short History of George Smiley"

Since he appeared in John le Carré’s 1961 novel, Call For The Dead, the unassuming intelligence operative George Smiley has become the most intellectually cunning and emotionally complex spy of modern times.

Smiley Lives
Call for The Dead (1961): Enter Smiley
A Murder Of Quality (1962): Smiley on his Own
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1963): Smiley’s World
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974): Smiley’s Triumph
The Honourable Schoolboy (1977): Smiley in Asia
Smiley’s People (1982): Smiley’s Last Battle
The Secret Pilgrim (1990): Smiley Remembers
Smiley’s People (1982): Smiley’s Last Battle

Smiley’s People (1982): Smiley’s Last Battle

In 1979, le Carré published the concluding part of the Karla trilogy, Smiley’s People. Smiley is once again called out of retirement in order to cover up the death of a Russian general who attempted to defect to the West. But an initial investigation pulls Smiley into the complex labyrinth of the Soviet system and provides him with critical information that just might pull Karla out of the shadows and force him to defect to the West. Le Carré reunites Smiley with many familiar faces –– the Circus' expert on Russia, Connie Sachs (now very ill), the loyal Peter Guillam (head of the Paris office), and Circus senior official Toby Esterhase –– and sets the conclusion in the epicenter of Cold War politics, the divided city of Berlin. In 1982, the BBC adapted Smiley’s People into a six-part mini-series, with Alex Guinness back in the role of George Smiley.