Page 26. " He tried to kill George Smiley "
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These events are narrated in more detail in John le Carré's first book, Call for the Dead (1961).


Page 27. " A practitioner of the cold war "

Soviet and US Tanks at Checkpoint Charlie, 1961
Public DomainSoviet and US Tanks at Checkpoint Charlie, 1961 - Credit: US National Archives
The Cold War was a time of great tension between the the west and the east, with the USA, the UK and their allies pitted against the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Eastern Europe. Germany, divided after World War II, was particularly important as the place where the two sides came face to face.  During the early 1960s the tension escalated with the nuclear arms race, proxy wars, propaganda and espionage, the Cuban missile crisis and the construction of the Berlin Wall, that most visible symbol of the Cold War.

Page 35. " The Labour Exchange "
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What has now become Jobcentre Plus started out as the Labour Exchange, a government bureau to pair employers with jobseekers.  Labour Exchanges were introduced in 1910, and were renamed Employment Exchanges in 1917, when the Ministry of Labour was created. Clearly the old name stuck.

Unemployment benefits were paid through Employment Exchanges.

Page 45. " calves-foot jelly "
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A jelly made by boiling up calf's feet with sugar and spices.  It was viewed as a delicacy and a restorative for invalids for many centuries.


Page 49. " On Ilkley Moor "
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Ilkley Moor
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeIlkley Moor - Credit: David Spencer

The unofficial anthem of Yorkshire, believed to date from the mid-19th century.

Wheear 'ast ta bin sin' ah saw thee?

On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at

The song tells of a lover courting his beloved Mary Jane, and the first two lines mean:

Where have you been since I last saw thee?

On Ilkley Moor without a hat.


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