John le Carré, Author of Cold War Thrillers, Dies.

I took this portrait of John Le Carré in 1978, I was working for the Observer newspaper in London at the time. It was a memorable assignment, I had just started working for the paper and this portrait was to lead the Features Section.

It was an assignment normally given to the extraordinary photographer Jane Bown. Jane had been working for the paper for at least 30 years by the time I got there. I was in awe of Jane. So was terrified of blowing the opportunity.

Mr. Le Carré was charming but very silent. I had half and hour of his time and so only managed two locations the image above is in his favourite chair I also photographed him in his writing room. That room is in the attic of the house ... a large gothic looking number on Hamstead Heath... and was blacked out with only a lamp on the table, so as not to be distracted .. he told me.

The portrait ran half page of the paper's Features section.


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Comments 4

  1. it’s a fabulous shot Lorrie.. showed your skill in the first shoot!! Hope John liked it too.. how could he not.

  2. Yes, did Jane Brown approve?
    I love the photo myself. And am in awe you met him to photograph him.
    Did the other photograph you took ever see the light of day? You said you took two….

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  3. What a fascinating writer.

    Have never heard about the writing area in the blacked out attic but somehow it seems very appropriate.

    And now you have to tell us – did Jane Brown like or say anything about the shot ?

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