Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Topics: Socks

Thursday, 24 February 2011

image for "Where Are Smiley's Socks?" Expert Blasts Le Carre Archive

A top socks expert has slammed the lack of sock-related material in the John Le Carre literary archive.

Le Carre, famous for creating spymaster George Smiley, has donated his literary archive to Oxford University's Bodleian Library.

The collection includes draft manuscripts of novels like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Tailor of Panama, private correspondence and photos - including one of the novelist with actor Alec Guinness, who portrayed Smiley on TV.

But Prof Nancy Primark, head of Footwear Studies at the University, said: "Unfortunately, this collection is woefully incomplete.

"We learn nothing about George Smiley's preferences in the sock department. Did he prefer cotton or wool? Did he buy his own, or leave it to his family at Christmas and on birthdays?

"What about Le Carre himself. Did he fold his together in pairs or throw them willy-nilly into his sock drawer?

"This was an opportunity missed, I'm afraid."

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