Adrian Turpin

Dodgy Dossier

An Officer and a Spy

By

Hutchinson 496pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

‘It is a déformation professionnelle: all spymasters go mad in the end,’ observes the hero of Robert Harris’s An Officer and a Spy, in what is clearly a warning from history. No dossier was ever as dodgy as that used in 1894 to convict Captain Alfred Dreyfus of treason; a barefaced collection of dud forensics and outright forgeries, it was never presented in open court for reasons of ‘national security’.

Dreyfus’s supposed deception was to pass military secrets, not even particularly important ones, to the Germans. His true crime was to be a wealthy Jew with financial interests in Germany during a period when paranoia about France’s old foe was at its peak and a xenophobic press operated unchecked.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,