Eric Ambler

Einde O'Callaghan einde.ocallaghan at
Sat Aug 24 05:35:32 MDT 2002

> Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 15:03:37 +0100
> From: "Martin Spellman" <mspellman at>
> Subject: RE: Eric Ambler
>         Cannot understand how Edward Rothstein puts John Le Carre on
> the 'spy-novel left' -- he is a very establishment character. 

I'm not sure what you mean by this comment. Certainly le Carre dresses
conservatively and has an upper class accent - althjough he isn't really
of uüpper-class origin. I believe his father was a bit of a con-man
(confidence trickster) and spent time in jail. He was, it is true,
educated in a British public school (i.e. a private school) and he
served for a few years in teh Foreign Service (i.e. he was a spy

But his novels deal with the peculiarly English perception of class and
post-"Fall of Communism" his novels have become more and more openly
critical of the "New World Order" - the most recent one dealing with
globalisation, Third World exploitation and the giant pharmaceutical
>         Erskine Childers is very interesting. He was Clerk to the
> House of Commons -- one of those who sit in wig and gown at the
> Speaker's table, keep the minutes and advise the Speaker. But he was
> a republican

Although he was an Englishman he actually became an Irish republican
after his stint in the House of Commons. Interestingly, considering the
theme of "Riddle of the Sands" he actually organised the Howth
gun-running in 1913 when he used his yacht to import a number of German
guns to arm the Irish Volunters, the nationalist militia set up after
the Ulster Volunteer Force organised the much bigger Larn gun-running
earlier that year - with the open support of the leadership of the
British Conservative Party.

> and was a member
> of the Sinn Fein delegation, together with Arthur Griffith and Martin
> Collins,

That's Michael Collins.

> that negotiated with Lloyd George. Collins kept him out of things.
> Childers was later shot by the Irish Free State government but his son
> became Irish President some years later.
Quite a few years later - in the 1970s or early 1980s IIRC.

Einde O'Callaghan

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