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Book Description

INSCRIBED BY LE CARRÉ SHORTLY AFTER PUBLICATION TO STRUTHER ARNOTT – WHO HAD CONFERRED AN HONORARY DOCTORATE ON LE CARRÉ IN 1996 – AND HIS WIFE GRETA

Octavo (233 x 151mm), pp. [8 (preliminaries)], 340, [1 (acknowledgements)], [3 (blanks)]. (Small mark on fore-edges of bookblock.) Original publisher’s black boards titled in silver on the spine, burgundy endpapers, green fabric marker, dustwrapper, not price-clipped. (Corners bumped, spine slightly leant, dustwrapper edges creased and bumped.) A very good copy.

Provenance: Greta and Struther Arnott, Cornwall, Christmas 2008 (b. 1940 and 1934-2013, autograph presentation inscription ‘John le Carré for Greta & Struther Christmas 2008 Cornwall’ on title).
Dealer Notes
First edition, trade issue. Le Carré’s twenty-first novel takes its inspiration from the case of the Turkish citizen Murat Kurnaz – who was captured in Pakistan and then held in Kandahar and Guantanamo Bay before his eventual release in 2006 – and offers a critique of the American policy of extraordinary rendition during the early 2000s: ‘[n]ew spies with new loyalties, old spies with old ones; terror as the new mantra; decent people wanting to do good, but caught in the moral maze; all the sound, rational reasons for doing the inhuman thing; this is the fabric of John le Carré’s fiercely compelling and current novel A Most Wanted Man’ (dustwrapper blurb). In addition to this trade issue, there were limited issues published for Waterstone’s (1,000 copies) and Hatchards (500 copies). A Most Wanted Man was made into a film directed by Anton Corbijn and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Daniel Brühl, and Nina Hoss. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was the last of Hoffman’s films to be released before his death.

A Most Wanted Man was published in October 2008 and this copy was inscribed by le Carré at Christmas 2008 to the distinguished molecular biologist Struther Arnott CBE, FRS and his wife Greta Arnott. Struther Arnott’s academic career in Britain and the United States concluded with his appointment in 1986 as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, where his ‘strategy […] was to invest in excellence and to disinvest in mediocrity. His legacy is a University which has in recent years performed consistently strongly in the top reaches of the major league tables and whose science faculty commands international respect’ (ODNB, quoting Louise Richardson). In his capacity as Principal and Vice-Chancellor (a position he held until 1999), Arnott had conferred an honorary doctorate on le Carré at St Andrews on 19 June 1996, and this copy of A Most Wanted Man was inscribed to Greta and Struther Arnott by le Carré in Cornwall (where he had lived since the 1970s), at Christmas 2008, some weeks after the book’s publication.
Author ‘LE CARRÉ, John’ [i.e. David John Moore CORNWELL]
Date 2008
Publisher London: Clays Ltd, St Ives plc for Hodder & Stoughton

Price: £125.00

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