JOHN le Carré – born as David Cornwell in 1931 – has passed away from pneumonia, leaving behind his wife and sons.
Valérie Jane Eustace – the wife of the legendary author – was an editor herself, and supported her husband through his career. Here's more about her…
Who is John Le Carre's wife Valérie Jane Eustace?
Valérie Jane Eustace, known as Jane, is a book editor with Hodder & Stoughton, Le Carre's publishers.
After divorcing his first wife, Cornwell married her in 1972.
The author had been married to her for almost 50 years upon his death.
They met at a books event in Birmingham and Jane helped David when he was struggling with a novel.
At the time, David said: ‘When this last book was in shreds, it was she who helped me piece it together and make something of it.
"I find her compassionate, understanding and remarkably intelligent.’
The pair lived together in St Buryan, Cornwall, until his death in December 2020.
How many children do they have?
Cornwell had four sons in total.
He had three sons with his first wife Alison Ann Veronica Sharp, who he married in 1954 but divorced in 1971. They are: Timothy, Stephen and Simon.
Simon is a film and TV executive who has co-founded the independent studio behind the TV adaptation of his father's novels The Night Manager and The Little Drummer Girl.
David's younger son Stephen is the other co-founder of The Ink Factory. He is a former photojournalist and screenwriter.
Timothy is an arts journalist.
With Jane, he had Nicholas, now known as Nick Harkaway – a British novelist like his father.
Nick has penned The Gone-Away World, Angelmaker, Tigerman, and Gnomon.
David's sons have had first refusal rights on any work by their father since 2014.
Who has paid tribute to John Le Carre?
His agent John Geller described him as "an undisputed giant of English literature",
Mr Geller added: "Our hearts go out to his four sons, their families and to his dear wife, Jane.
"For six decades, John le Carré dominated the bestseller lists and review pages with his monumental body of work."
Author Stephen King paid his tributes on social media, writing: “John le Carré has passed at the age of 89. This terrible year has claimed a literary giant and a humanitarian spirit."
Stephen Fry also reflected on Twitter: “John le Carré … if there is a contemporary writer who's given me richer pleasure I can't for the moment name them,”
Author Mark Harris wrote: “RIP John Le Carré, a master plotter and superb writer who reinvented the spy novel—again and again and again.
"I loved his books, and though he could miss sometimes, he never succumbed to nostalgia, ignored the changing world, or shied from speaking truth to power.”
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