A tribute to master spy novelist and Falmouth University honorary graduate, John le Carré

16 December 2020

Type: Text

It was with deep sadness that the University learned of the death of David Cornwell, better known by his nom-de-plume John Le Carré. The author was awarded an honorary degree by the University in 2002.  

Although Cornwell was born in Poole, Dorset, he had made his home in Cornwall and had lived here for more than 40 years.  

A giant of the world of literature, he is best known for his spy-thriller novels including The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.  

His brilliant writing evoked a world that was a far cry from the glamour and romance of James Bond and was informed by his own experiences of working for both MI5 and MI6.  

Professor Paul Springer, Director of the School of Communication, said: “Although Cornwell is famous for his books set during the Cold War, his themes are contemporary and provide much for us to consider as we contemplate our divided world. HIs colossal body of work, much of which was adapted for screen, and the mark he made on the industry throughout his extraordinary career is an inspiration. His death is a loss, but he leaves a great legacy and I am very proud of Falmouth University’s, and Cornwall’s, association with him.”  

Tom Scott, a lecturer on Creative Writing said: "I will never forget his talk to Writing students at Falmouth - a masterclass from one of the greatest writers of his generation. He was also an extraordinarily generous sponsor of some of our most talented students, providing support that enabled them to develop their craft at the early stages of their careers."