Le Carre, John: The Looking Glass War
(researched by Skiles Hornig)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

John le CarrÈ. The Looking Glass War. London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1965.

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

The first British edition is published in trade cloth Copyright: D. J. M Cornwell Other first editions: John le Carre. The Looking Glass War. New York: Coward-McCann, 1965. John le Carre. The Looking Glass War. New York: Dell Publishing Co. 1965. Source: WorldCat

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

130 leaves, pp. [12] [1-2] 3-245 [246] [2]

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

The book opens with a list of other novels by John le CarrÈ. There is a dedication made to James Kenaway, followed by a brief foreword by the author. The foreword states that everything in the novel to follow is fiction. Le CarrÈ also gives thanks to those who have helped and supported him. After the foreword is a brief outline of the novel's organization and a brief quote.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

There are no illustrations

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

The presentation of the text is very attracitive and the typography is perfectly readable. Large margins provide for a very tidy presentation. The text is not printed in the center of the page, which is the only aspect that takes away from the book's tidiness. The measurements are as follows: Page Size: 196mm x 126mm Text Size: 150mm x 97mm Type Size: 81R Top Margin: 15mm Bottom Margin: 33mm Margin from binding: 10mm Margin from outside: 21mm Type Style: Serif

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The book is on wove paper with even, granulated texture. It looks like this book has been treated well as all of the pages are in good condition aside from a little yellowish tint.

11 Description of binding(s)

The pages are stitched into eight small sections and then all together. The binding is approximately one inch wide, made of blackish cloth, and has a dotted line grain. On the spine, the title, author's name, (at the top,) and publisher, (at the bottom,) are stamped in silver. Covering the cloth binding is a red dust jacket. Transcription of binding spine: The|Looking|Glass|War| John le| CarrÈ|Heineman

12 Transcription of title page

The|Looking-|Glass|War|John|le CarrÈ|[vignette ornament 12mm x 12mm]|HEINEMANN:LONDON

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

none found

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

The inset of the dust jacket includes the first paragraphs of the novel as well as a brief mention of the recognition it has receive from the literary world. The back inset gives a short biography of the author. On the back of the jacket are a series of quotes from literary critics about le CarrÈ's precious novel, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A

Coward McCann: 1965- New York, 223 p. [bookclub edition]

2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

none found

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

Ulverscroft: 1965- Leicester, England. Dell Publishing Co., Inc.: 1969 1965- New York [New Dell edition] 1965 - New York [first paperback edition] Noguer: 1965- Barcelona. [Spanish Translation] R.Laffont: 1965- Paris.[French Translation],445 p. Hodder & Stoughton: 1991 1965- [Lamplighter Edition] Bantam Books: 1975- Toronto; New York, 274 p. G.K. Hall: 1986 1965- [large print edition] Coronet: 1991 1965- 287 p. Izd-vo Politcheskoi literatury: 1991- Moskva. [Russian Translation], 237 p. Iskry: SuperNOWA: 1993- Warsaw. [Polish Translation], 263 p. Sceptre: 1999 1991- London, 288 p. Ballentine Books: 1992- New York, 258 p. [first Ballantine Books edition] 1997-New Yok, 320 p. [first Ballantine Books trade edition] Huang kuan wen hua ch'u pan yu hsien kung ssu, 1997, T'ai-pei shih. [Chinese translation],397 p. Source: WorldCat

6 Last date in print?

The Ballantine Publishing Group currently has two editions of The Looking Glass War in print. Sceptre has an edition in print as well. Source: http://web6.infotrac.galegroup.com

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

Over 100,000 copies of the original hardbound copes were sold. Source: Publishers Weekly; January-March, 1966

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

By July, 1965, over 75,000 copies had been sold. More than 100,000 copies had been sold as of September 6, 1965. Source: Publisher's Weekly; July-September 1965.

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

The first advertisement in Publisher's Weekly appears in the January 18 issue in 1965. The ad boasts about John le Carre's accoplishments with his previous novel, and The Looking Glass War's prequel, The Spy who Came in From the Cold. The next ad appears much later in the year. It's main subject matter is a large picture of a man lighting a pipe and an image of the cover of the book. It's captions read as follows: "The Literary Guild Selection for September," "Paperback right bought by Dell," "Movie rights sold to Columbia Pictures," "Serialized in thee Ladies' Home Journal," "Simultaneous world publication." The ad also carries information regarding the novel's advertising campaign. The next advertisement appears in the July 12 issue, just two weeks before the official publication date of July 26. Its headline reads: "BOOKSELLERS: Your biggest profit maker of 1965 is on its way! Books shipped...word-of-mouth enthusiasm building..excitement mouthing! John le Carre's THE LOOKING GLASS WAR is ready to take off!" The ad follows up with numerous quotes from literary critics.

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

In September of 1965, Coward McCann added $25,000 to the $50,000 they already had invested in advertising for the novel. From September 13 through October 13, the publisher coordinated with a bookseller offer of one-for-ten. Within the first week that the offer was in effect, 3,500 copies were ordered. These positive results lead to an explosion of promotion and advertising, especially in Chicago and Los Angeles. Source: Publisher's Weekly

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

Film; In 1969, Columbia Tristar made The Looking Glass War into motion picture. Rated PG, it was wrtien and directed by Frank R. Pierson, produced by John Box, Christopher Jones, Ralph Richardson, Paul Rogers, Anthony Hopkins, and Pia Degermark. Book on Tape: In 1965 and 1997, Chivers Audio Books published a recording of Michael Jayston reading The Looking Glass war on 8 cassettes (for a total of 9 hours and 7 minutes) in Hampton, New Hampshire. Another set of 8 tapes (for a total of 8 hours) was published in Newport Beach, California by Books on Tape. Books on Tape put their edition out in 1965 and 1981 and had Wolfram Kandinsky read the novel. In 1992, John le Carre himself did a reading of The Looking Glass War for publisher Random House Audio Books. The recording took place in New York, New York. This particular version of the book on tape is abridged and is only 3 hours long. Recorded Books had Frank muller read the novel for their edition of the book on tape, which came out in 1965 and 1988. It was published in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. Sources: RLIN WorldCat

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

R.Laffont, 1965, Paris.[French Translation],445 p. Huang kuan wen hua ch'u pan yu hsien kung ssu, 1997, T'ai-pei shih. [Chinese translation],397 p. Iskry: SuperNOWA, 1993, Warsaw. [Polish Translation], 263 p. Izd-vo Politcheskoi literatury, 1991, Moskva. [Russian Translation], 237 p. Noguer, 1965, Barcelona. [Spanish Translation] Source: WorldCat

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A

Serialized in the Ladies' Home Journal. Source: Advertisements in Publisher's Weekly

15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A

Prequel: The Spy Who Came From the Cold, (1964)

Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Before he began writing under the pseudomyn John le Carré, David John Moore Cornwell was, starting in 1949, active in military service, more specifically the British Army Intelligence Corps. Cornwell also spent time teaching French and Latin at Eton College. In 1961, Cornwell began to serve in the British foreign service in West Germany. Fans and critics alike have long speculated that Cornwell was involved with espionage activity during his time with the foreign service, giving him the intimate knowledge he displays in his novels. While he denies being directly involved with spying, he did tell Jenny Hobbs about his time in army intelligence, "My relationship with the secret world was an emotional one...I had a good eye and a good ear and I was in the secret world at a time when it was really the hub of the universe." The beginning of his literary career began in the early 1960s when he was still working as a diplomat for British Foreign Services. Both The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and The Looking Glass War, along with some of his other novels, focus on the Cold War and betrayal. This reoccurring theme of betrayal stem from some actual occurrences of Soviet agents posing as members of the British Secret Service and Foreign Office in the 1950s. It may also go back as far as Cornwell's father, who was a known con man. As a boy, Cornwell was used by his father as a front for his illegal schemes. In A Perfect Spy Cornwell uses his childhood experience as the basis for the story. "Like Magnus Pym, the novel's troubled central character, le Carre was reared by his father in a world of limousines, private schools, and luxury--all of which might disappear overnight when one of the elder Cornwell's swindles was uncovered. It was a life that schooled Le Carre in the intricacies of secrecy and deception." (Lorenz) Corwell only deviated from the spy genre once with his publication of The Naive and Sentimental Lover which was not nearly as successful as his espionage novels. With the success of his The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, (published in 1963,) Cornwell was able to begin a career as a full time writer and developed a schedule around which to work. After an early awakening and a swim, he works until lunch time, writing everything by hand. While he takes an afternoon walk in the cliffs near his house, his wife types out that morning's work. Upon arriving home, Cornwell likes to read and then rework his writing. Before he made writing his career, "he scribbled in cheap notebooks whenever he could grab time, though when he took up writing, he was meticulous in research and notes." (Khan) Cornwell is wary of current events and reflects this in his novels. As the Cold War died out, so too did his focus on it in his novels. Cornwell's later novels address issues such as terrorism in the Middle East and ethnic oppression. Despite his literary success, Cornwell remains quiet about his work and grants few interviews. In his own words, "In my own circle, I never talk about my work, either what I'm doing or what I've done." While verbally quiet, Cornwell shares with his readers his vivid anti- Cold War stand and his natural literary talent. Sources: www.galenet.com www.kirjasto.sci.fi www.leadership.co.za Cobbs, John L. Understanding John le Carre. University of South Carolina Press, South Carolina. 1998. Khan, Mahbub Husain. The Independent Bangladesh; "Master Creator of Spy Stories: A Cold War ironist." July 12, 1999. Lorenz, Janet E. Salem Press; "John le Carre." January 1, 1989.

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

After the success of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, John le Carré had a lot to live up to with The Looking Glass War. The critics agree that The Looking Glass War is a solid novel in itself, but it by no means measures up to or surpasses its predecessor. A common thread among the criticisms is that the ?spy' portion of the novel is superb, but that the characters are underdeveloped, or "flat" and hollow," (NEWSWEEK, July 26, 1965, p.93.) Critics also complain that it takes too long for the book to take off and totally engross the reader. One common praise for the book is that of Le Carré's superior writing ability; for example, Time magazine complains that "Looking is totally dehumanized" but praises Le Carré for exemplary writing style and for "graduating from his genre as he promised he would." "With The Looking Glass War, John le Carré may not have exactly done it again, but he has done something almost as reassuring. He has made it plain that Spy was not a fluke, and that those of us who good spy novels and good writing may expect a long a mutually profitable relationship with him." -Eric Ambler, LIFE, July 30, 1965, p.8 "Even when [The Looking Glass War gets started,] after a series of false starts, it never quite approaches the performance of its predecessor." -NEWSWEEK, July 26, 1965, p. 93 "In The Looking Glass War, Le Carré has written a story with some of the suspense of a spy thriller and also with some of the psychological social density of a novel. But the two do not mingle well." -George P. Eliot, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, July 25, 1965, p. 5 Eliot goes on to describe how Le Carré repeatedly begins the development of events and characters but then drops them before the development is complete. He speaks admirable of the espionage aspect of the story but is not impressed with the novel part. Cumulative Reviews: ATLANTIC MONTHLY 8/1965, P. 124 BOOKS AND BOOKMEN 8/1965, P. 35 BOOKLIST 7/15/1965, P. 1057 BESTSELLERS 8/1/1965, P. 189 CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR 7/29/1965, P. 7 GUARDIAN WEEKLY 7/1/1965, P. 11 HARPER'S MAGAZINE 5/1965, P. 139 KIRKUS REVIEWS 6/1/1965, P. 537 LIBRARY JOURNAL 7/1965, P. 3027 LIFE 7/30/1965, P. 8 NATIONAL OBSERVER 7/26/1965, P. 19 NEW STATESMEN 6/25/1965, P. 1013 NEWSWEEK 7/26/1965, P. 93 NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS 8/5/1965, P. 20 NEW YORK TIMES 7/23/1965, P. 27 NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 7/25/1965, P. 5 NATIONAL REVIEW 11/2/1965, P. 995 NEW REPUBLIC 7/3/1965, P. 25 OBSERVER 6/20/1965, P. 27 PUNCH 7/21/1965, P. 99 SATURDAY REVIEW 7/24/1965, P. 39 SPECTATOR 6/25/1965, P. 827 TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 7/30/1965, P. 533 TIME 7/30/1965, P. 68 WALL STREET JOURNAL 8/2/1965, P.10 SOURCES: Tarbert, Gary C. & Beach, Barbara. Book Review Index, vol. 2. Detriot: Gale Research Company, 1985. (others cited above)

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

The sentiments concerning The Looking Glass War do not seem to change with time. After the initial release of the novel, Publisher's Weekly issued a ?forecast' of the paperback edition; "As bitter as gall, in a sense, the spy story to end all spy stories, stripped down to the bare bones, with all phony glamour expunged." In 1975, New York Times Book Review refers to the novel as a "classic." Just as when it was first released, The Looking Glass War is constantly criticized for what it lacks that The Spy Who Came in From the Cold had. "[After The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, ] his next two novels are longer and less satisfying examinations of cold war ethical and political betrayal in the innermost circles of British Intelligence." -Beene, LynnDiane. John le Carré. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992. Here are some quotes from contemporary readers concerning the novel. The general consensus is that it is a decent book but not action packed and not for everybody. (from Amazon.com) A reader from St. Paul, MN , July 4, 1999 Depressing, but on the mark "Le Carre is the best at examining the psychology of control and lying: what are the consequences of a life of deceit? No, it is not an action thriller. Don't read it if that is what you are looking for. But if you want a realistic portrayal of what goes on behind the government scenes in the spy game, this is definitely for you" A reader from New Mexico USA , January 28, 1999 very slow moving "No, I wasn't looking for something in the James Bond vein, but Le Carre always seems to be wishing he's writing in a different genre. The unrelievedly mournful tone of conversations and all personal encounters is not only a little wearing, but also unrealistic - people just aren't this humorless in real life...or are they?" masud@physics.rutgers.edu from New Brunswick, New Jersey , August 4, 1998 wonderful "I was surprised when I read the negative reviews on this book... I read it several years ago and found it very believable. Human greed, the senselessness of bureaucracy and the competition between government departments... these are some of the very real things that are explored in the book in a 'spy-story' setting. Of course it is more of a serious novel than a thriller... those reading it for getting kicks out of following the heroic adventures of a glamorous spy will be disappointed. The people are human, with real peoples' weaknesses and faults, and the enemy people (east Germans) are all too human. I can understand the average thriller fan's not liking this book."

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

The Looking Glass War: Formula for Success After the success of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, it would have been almost impossible for John le Carre's next novel to be a flop. The successor to Spy, The Looking Glass War, was an immediate bestseller, although it never had quite the selling power that Spy had, (The Spy Who Came in From the Cold topped the best seller list in 1964 while The Looking Glass War only caught the number four position in 1965.) Critics agreed that The Looking Glass War was a well written spy novel, but that it lacked the strong characterization that made Spy so unique. Nevertheless, The Looking Glass War had some of its own staying power, compiling a number of factors to formulate success. In his novel, Le Carre addressed a wide audience by choosing a genre of particular popularity at the time as well as commenting on the most pertinent world issue in the mid-sixties: the Cold War. On top of the fact that he wrote in the popular spy genre, is the speculation that Le Carre himself was involved with espionage while working with British Intelligence. With the possible 'inside' knowledge of the business, the author had an immediate one-up on any other writers in his field. With the success of its predecessor, its era-specific appeal, and the persona that Le Carre exemplified, The Looking Glass War is an example of a bestseller in which the author, whether purposefully or not, had a number of ingredients fall into the right place at the right time. Before The Looking Glass War was ever published, its success was carefully planned out. Since Le Carre was a household name after The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Looking Glass War's entire identity was defined by what Le Carre's audience had seen before. Coward-McCann, the novel's publisher, launched a $50,000 initial advertising campaign which boasted statistics and reviews of Spy to try to convince the public of Looking Glass War's merit as a novel. While this build up may be held accountable for some people's disappointment once they read the novel, it can also be held responsible for Looking Glass War's place on the bestseller list within the first week of its publication. With every novel, there is an author and a story, and sometimes it is author that is selling, rather than the story. While the Looking Glass War is an example of this type of bestseller to some extent, there is a considerable amount of substance within the covers that also contributed to its success. The Cold War came to a climax during the 1960's, when The Looking Glass War was published. As the Cold War progressed and began to exhibit more and more violence, it lost much its initial support. Its goal to contain communism seemed reasonable at the conclusion of World War II, but once the loss of American lives became involved, it became more and more unappealing. The 1950's witnessed the Korean War and the construction of the hydrogen bomb. By the time Looking Glass War was published, the American public had the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in their minds and US military participation in Vietnam had begun the year before; needless to say, the popularity of the government and the Cold War were severely declining. Through the Looking Glass War, John le Carre expresses his own anti-Cold War sentiments in a number of ways. In the words of John L. Cobb, "Unequivocally, both The Looking Glass War and A Small Town in Germany are bleak, cheerless studies of the Cold War at its coldest, but in their very grimness lies their excellence. Together, they may represent the truest picture in literature of the moral and spiritual wasteland of the international political world of the twentieth century." Le Carre paints the picture Cobb refers to by creating an impossible mission for the spies in the "Department." From the opening of the novel, the characters are doomed for failure, for they are following up on evidence of missile emplacements in East Germany which were placed there by a fellow and friendly spy agency to distract the enemies. The main characters in the book are all seeking some sort of glory through the mission: some to make themselves feel as important as they did during the war, and some to make an initial establishment for themselves. Leclerc, the director of the mission, is proud and selfish. By the conclusion of the novel, he is essentially responsible for two deaths; one (Taylor) an inexperienced agent whom he sent to collect insignificant film, and the other (Leiser), an older agent, whom Leclerc sent to East Germany to investigate and then abandoned when it was evident Leiser would be captured and killed by the Germans. In the selfish actions of Leclerc, Le Carre makes it plain that risking lives for causes which may prove to be hopeless (and, in fact, did in the case of both the Korean and the Vietnam War,) is absurd, selfish, and sad. A central theme of betrayal is expressed through Leclerc's betrayal of Leiser and again with Avery's betrayal of his wife. Upon failing his assigned mission, one character, (Avery,) defines this feverish betrayal, "He looked at Leclerc, then at Haldane. They were his colleagues. Prisoners of silence, the three of them would work side by side, breaking the arid land all four seasons of the year, strangers to each other, needing each other, in a wilderness of abandoned faith" (102). One could make a similar statement about the relationship between the government and the public during the Cold War; they clearly need each other, yet, the government was making decisions which betrayed the desires of the public for which they were working. Perhaps it is the Cold War as well, which sparked such a high interest in the spy genre in the 1960s. The United States was certainly engaged in its own espionage during the Cold War. During the 1950s, the president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, sent the CIA to Iran and Guatemala in order to prevent their governments from turning pro-communist. In any case, the 1960s proved to be a successful decade for the spy genre in all types of media. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold was not the only major espionage novel on the bestseller list in 1964; Ian Fleming's James Bond thriller, You Only Live Twice, accompanied it. Both Fleming and Le Carre appear on the list again the following year (with The Man With the Golden Gun and The Looking Glass War, respectively.) In 1968, Le Carre makes the list again with A Small Town in Germany. As Joseph Maloney points out in his entry on You Only Live Twice, a relatively large number (138) 'spy' movies and television shows were produced in the 1960s, including the television series, Mission: Impossible. What differentiates Le Carre's novels from the stereotypical spy is that his characters are not smooth talking, handsome, and determined, nor is the plot always filled with excitement. Publisher's Weekly describes, "A bitter, bleak, superlatively well-written novel, The Looking Glass War is so devastating in its portrayal of a team of third-rate British agents?that the reader is shocked into revulsion for the whole concept of secret agent." While James Bond may be the more characteristically 'fun' secret agent, Le Carre's novels are higher on the best seller list for both 1964 and 1965. This can perhaps be attributed to Le Carre's unique approach to his genre and his often short, brutal honesty; "[Le Carre] redefines the borders of genre fiction by exploring the dark sides of contemporary life, while giving temporary solutions to the pervasive chaos of moral uncertaintity" (Beene). Not only did Le Carre have a distinguished approach to his subject, he also had a special connection to it. While not confirmed that Le Carre was an actual spy, he did work for British Intelligence before he became a full time author. Le Carre was also known to be a very private man, often refusing interviews and rarely speaking about his work. With the combination of these two factors, Le Carre portrayed himself as a very mysterious man to the public. In the publicity campaign before the release of The Looking Glass War, the ads all contain a full-page photograph of Le Carre lighting a pipe, somewhat reminiscent of the classic spy Sherlock Holmes. Just as Upton Sinclair immersed himself in the meat packing industry for his novel, The Jungle, and thus thoroughly engaged and convinced his readers of his story, Le Carre intrigues his audience by leading them to believe that his novels provide a window into the true world of espionage. In the words of LynnDianne Beene, "Le Carre wants readers to accept his fictional world as plausible and his judgments about that world's immorality as sound." While The Looking Glass War did not remain on the bestseller list after the year of its publication, it continues to sell today. One reason for its continuing success would be the release of the movie version in 1970 by Columbia Pictures. Also, John Le Carre continued to produce popular novels into the 1990s generating a new, younger audience for his writing. While the pertinence of the Cold War may fade with time, Le Carre's superb writing style does not. There are many bestsellers, which may never have made the bestseller list if not for the author's previous novel (for example, Joseph Heller's Something Happened) and this may have been the case for The Looking Glass War. The novel had so many other factors going for it though, that this is hard to believe. It addressed serious issues, expressed and agreed with popular opinion and did in a fashion that was popular during the decade in which it was written. Bibliography: International Move Database (www.imd.com) The History Chanel (www.historychanel.com) Beene, LynneDianne. JOhn le Carre. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992. Bloom, Harold. Modern Critical Reviews: John le Carre. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. Cobb, John L. Understanding John le Carre. South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1998. Homberger, Eric. John le Carre. New York: Methuen, 1986. Le Carre, John. The Looking Glass War. London: William Heinemann, 1965.

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