Ashenden or The British Agent
by W. Somerset Maugham, Doubleday,
Previous owner’s name inside front cover, some fading and spine and corner bumps, otherwise good tight copy.
Has dust jacket, but is missing pieces, now in Mylar jacket.
New York; 1941;
It is an archetype of the espionage novel, a book to which more contemporary practitioners such as Eric Ambler, Ian Fleming, Leslie Charteris, Graham Greene, Len Deighton, John le Carré, Robert Ludlum, and Alan Furst are indebted for its role in developing the genre]. An example of this is the device, which Fleming copied in the James Bond novels, of referring to the head of British Intelligence only by an initial. In fact, the director of MI6 has always been known as “C”, supposedly for “chief”, but actually because the first director, Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming, signed departmental paperwork with that initial.