John Le Carre to Release a New George Smiley Novel

legacySeptember 7th has been set at the release day for A Legacy of Spies from bestselling espionage novelist John Le Carre. It has been twenty-five years since Le Carre has released a title featuring George Smiley, an intelligence officer that has been one of the authors most enduring characters.

Penguin/Random House’s Viking imprint said in their press release A Legacy of Spies; “interweaves past with present” and ultimately spins “a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

Here are the details from the press release:

Viking Books is delighted to announce the publication of a new novel by John le Carré

A Legacy of Spies


This is the first novel in over twenty-five years to feature George Smiley, le Carré’s most beloved character.  Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London.  The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him.  Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinised under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.

Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own intense story, John le Carré has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Twenty-one of le Carré’s novels to become Penguin Modern Classics  

For more than fifty years John le Carré has written novels that have come to define our age, from his extraordinary Cold War novels – The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Smiley’s People, to name just threeto his powerful descriptions of the War on Terror in A Most Wanted Man and his most recent novel, A Delicate Truth. In recognition of le Carré’s literary achievements, Penguin is engaged in a major nine year project to publish twenty-one of his novels in Penguin Modern Classics by 2018 – this will represent the most extensive body of work by a living author to be awarded this classic status.


  • In 2016 le Carré’s memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, was a number one bestseller
  • The BBC’s adaptation of le Carré’s 1993 novel, The Night Manager, was watched by 10 million people in the UK.
  • The Night Manager producers, The Ink Factory, have announced that they will produce a new series of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold with a script by Oscar-winning screen writer, Simon Beaufoy, to be released in 2018.

For further information about A Legacy of Spies please contact Poppy North at or on 020 7139 3254


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