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Jan 28, 2018

On Episode 32 of the Spybrary Spy Podcast, host Shane Whaley discovers more about Edinburgh Spy Week 2018 with one of the organisers, Professor Penny Fielding.

Penny reveals a stellar line up of speakers  who will be starring at the fifth Edinburgh Spy Week.  Can't make Edinburgh? This interview is still worth listening to you as Shane finds out more about Prof Fielding's love for spy literature and movies.

It’s fun being a podcaster. I just got to chat for over an hour with an English Literature Professor all about spy books. Not my usual Saturday afternoon company

Edinburgh Spy Week  is a unique public event that focuses on espionage fiction and film and the ways in which secrecy and spying run through our history and culture. They bring together creative practitioners and academic researchers to talk about books and ideas in public and accessible ways.


These are some of the topics we cover on Episode 32:


  • What exactly is Edinburgh Spy Week 2018?- When is it?
    - Where is it?
    - What’s in the programme?
    - Who is speaking?
    - what’s the cost?
    - how can people register?
  • Penny shares with us the origins of Edinburgh Spy Week and how it got started.
  • What is Penny's  favourite session since the inaugural Edinbrugh Spy Week
  • How Professor Fielding become interested in espionage books and movies.
  • Why is spy fiction so male-dominated (both in authors, and in readership) as opposed to a genre such as mystery?
  • What does Professor Fielding think of the female characters in John Le Carre's spy novels?
  • Which spy authors does she think portrays female characters credibly? Which spy book does she think has the best written female characters?
  • If Spybrary could arrange for Prof. Fielding to meet John Le Carre over a cup of tea in Cornwall what would she ask him?
  • As an English Literature Professor and the organiser of Edinburgh Spy Week 2018 what does she feel is the gold standard of spy fiction writing?
  • As a fan of Le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy what is her take on the tv adaptation of the novel and the movie version.
  • If she could be a character in a spy book or movie, who would she choose?

And Much Much More! (Including, as you would expect from an English Lit Professor tons of book recommendations!)

Edinburgh Spy Week 2018 Line Up