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H.B. Lyle: Fiction to fact to fiction – finding nuggets in the archive

Posted on: 21/08/2018 with tags: author blog, crime fiction, espionage, historical crime, historical fiction, Sherlock Holmes, 20th Century, British History, English History, European

It’s perhaps the most dreaded question in the author Q&A: where do you get your ideas from? Setting aside Arthur Miller’s famous response (‘I wish I knew, I’d go there more often’) this is perhaps an easier question for the historical novelist to answer than those working in other genres. For inspiration, we only have to look into the history books. And this is so often the way of things – authors find out versions of what happened then transmute and change and reimagine then in the form of…

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Spot the deception: Guy Burgess true or false

Posted on: 28/06/2016 with tags: andrew lownie, cambridge spies, Cambridge spy, espionage, stalin's englishman, 20th Century

Put your detective skills to the test. Can you work out which 2 of these incredible facts about Guy Burgess are the hidden lies? Let us know in the comments below! 1/ Guy Burgess played in the Eton football 1st XI . 2/ His stepfather was an intelligence officer working with Lawrence of Arabia during the First World War. 3/ Guy Burgess’s sexual partners included three other Cambridge spies – Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt and Michael Straight. 4/ Victor, later Lord Rothschild, was charged with man…

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Andrew Lownie: In search of Guy Burgess

Posted on: 08/09/2015 with tags: anthony blunt, cambridge, cambridge spies, espionage, Guy Burgess, hodder, kgb, mi6, spies, stalin's englishman, sying

The author of STALIN’S ENGLISHMAN Andrew Lownie has written this fantastic article on his search for Guy Burgess, the most fascinating figure of the infamous Cambridge spy ring.In search of Guy BurgessI’ve been interested in Guy Burgess since I was a child and especially , after the exposure of Sir Anthony Blunt  in 1979, each week seemed to bring some fresh revelation about a new Cambridge Spy. At Cambridge University I organised a seminar on the Cambridge Spy Ring and on graduating helped rese…

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Remember, Remember

Posted on: 14/11/2013 with tags: backlist, BBC, Cold War, espionage, Len Deighton, Mulholland, spies, Ted Allbeury, thrillers

It is the season of remembrance, not just of the wars but also their aftermath. The shadowy world of Cold War espionage, characterised so memorably in the great British spy thriller tradition, is familiar territory to most of us but perhaps the time has come to take a fresh look. BBC2 seems to think so. It is launching a season of drama and documentaries that look back to the time when Britain lived in the shadow of the Cold War. The highlight of the season is Legacy, an espionage thriller commi…

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