Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL3007 PARKES, ADAM MW 10:10 AM 0250


Reading authors from Childers and Buchan to Fleming and Le Carré, this class will trace the development of a distinctively modern fictional genre in its literary and historical contexts, from late-Victorian imperialism to the Cold War.  Our primary concern will be British and Irish writers and the ways in which they represent espionage in Britain, Ireland, and Europe.  As well as studying a number of primary texts, we will read in the history of spy fiction and espionage.  We will think about what spying and fiction-making have to do with one another.  We will also think about how spy fiction emerges from various popular genres during and after the modernist period in art and literature.   Other topics of discussion are likely to include: espionage and empire; the world wars and the Cold War; ideological conflict and nation-states; nationality and identity in the modern surveillance state; spies in literature and popular cinema.

Some of the books are shorter than others.  Students planning to take the course are encouraged to read some of the longer works (especially Childers's The Riddle of the Sands and Bowen's The Heat of the Day) during the winter break.


Several short papers and a longer final paper.


Two 2-page papers; two 3-page papers; one 5-page paper; and reading quizzes.






Please obtain the paperback editions listed below.  New copies will be available from the UGA bookstore.  New and used copies are available from

Eric Ambler, Epitaph for a Spy (Vintage, 2002).  ISBN: 0375713247.

Erskine Childers, The Riddle of the Sands (Modern Library, 2002).  ISBN: 0812966147.  (Also acceptable: the Oxford World's Classics text edited by David Trotter [Oxford UP, 2008].  0199549710.)

John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps, ed. Christopher Harvie (Oxford UP, 2009).  0199537879.

Elizabeth Bowen, The Heat of the Day (Anchor, 2002).  0385721285.

Graham Greene, The Third Man (Penguin, 1999).  9780140286823.

Ian Fleming, Casino Royale (Thomas & Mercer, 2012).  1612185436.

Len Deighton, The Ipcress File (HarperCollins, 2015).  0008124787.

John Le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Penguin, 2013).  0143124757.