George Smiley — the creation of the late John le Carré — was the antidote to James Bond; overweight, balding, self deprecating and altogether unsexy. He was also perhaps the greatest spy Britain never had.
Back in 2017, illustrator and cartographer Mike Hall was commissioned by Penguin Books to create a map depicting London locations that Smiley visited in early le Carré novels. Now seems a better time than ever to acquire a copy, and get walking in Smiley’s footsteps.
Among hotspots on Hall’s map is no.9 Bywater Street in Chelsea, the home of George Smiley; Cambridge Circus, where le Carré situated his fictionalised British Intelligence Services HQ (nicknamed “The Circus”); Battersea Bridge, where Smiley grapples with an East German spy in the novel Call for the Dead; and the place on Hampstead Heath where General Vladimir is shot in the face, in Smiley’s People.
The full-sized map can be downloaded here for free [pdf]. Happy sleuthing.
We also recommend checking out the marvellous illustrations of Mike Hall, who is also available for commissions.