Hampstead spy writer John le Carré gifts signed books to community library

Book sale at Keats Community Library. Vicky Joel pictured with signed John le Carre first editions

Book sale at Keats Community Library. Vicky Joel pictured with signed John le Carre first editions - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Students of espionage take note. Hampstead’s community-run library is harbouring a cache of spy-related materials to rival the latest WikiLeaks dossier – and it could be yours.

Keats Community Library in Keats Grove is in possession of a signed set of novels by John le Carré, the prolific Hampstead-based author of such classics as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Constant Gardener.

The 22 books, including three first editions, were donated by Mr le Carré because he is a close friend of one of the library’s trustees.

Yet rather like a newspaper editor offered an incendiary hoard of classified documents, the library is unsure quite how to handle them.

Trustee Vicky Joel said: “They’re very special so we’re thinking we might have an auction for them, but there are no plans yet.


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“We don’t want to let them go too lightly, we want to maximise their specialness and we would also like them to go to the right person.

“Any John le Carré fans are welcome to get in touch.”

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