Wark, W.K. (1991) Spy Fiction, Spy Films and Real Intelligence

Wesley K. Wark (1991) Spy Fiction, Spy Films and Real Intelligence

This book won the Canadian Crime Writers’ Arthur Ellis Award for the Best Genre Criticism/Reference book of 1991. This collection of essays is an attempt to explore the history of spy fiction and spy films and investigate the significance of the ideas they contain. The volume offers new insights into the development and symbolism of British spy fiction.


  • Introduction – Fictions of history, Wesley K. Wark.
  • Secret negotiations – the spy figure in 19th century American popular fiction, Christine Bold.
  • The politics of adventure in the early British spy novel, David Trotter.
  • Decoding German spies – British spy fiction, 1908-18, Nicholas Hiley.
  • English spy thrillers in the age of appeasement, Eric Homberger.
  • Ireland in spy fiction, Keith Jeffery and Eunan O’Halpin.
  • Our Man in Havana, their man in Madrid – literary invention in espionage fact and fiction, Denis Smyth.
  • The development of the espionage film, Alarn R. Booth.
  • Ethics and spy fiction, J.J. Macintosh.
  • Spy fiction and terrorism, Philip Jenkins.
  • Why I write spy fiction, John Starnes.
  • Critical afterthoughts and alternative historico-literary theories, D. Cameron Watt.