Sunday 14 August 2016

A serendipitous discovery ....

The undiscovered foreword
One of the nice things about creating and running the Deighton Dossier website and blog is the opportunity to communicate with readers and collectors of Len's works from around the globe. And every so often I'm grateful to those readers for highlighting something that I am not aware of.

Fellow collector 'Raki' recently purchased a copy of a book RAF Bomber Command in fact and fiction, by Jonathan Falconer. This 1996 book is not simply a history of the unit, but rather an examination of how its operations and legacy have been covered in the media, by historians and in popular fiction. Naturally, it references Deighton's Bomber book as one such example.

The book is fascinating enough in itself, but it includes a three-page foreword by Len. This was news to me; through many years of collecting, writing about and documenting works by and referencing Len Deighton, I hadn't come across this book at all. But there it was. Just goes to show how any collection, or any website, is never truly 'complete' because there's always more to find and document.

Serendipitous finds like this book are one of the pleasures of collecting any author's work, and I'm pleased that it came about through a connection made through this website. I'm always keen to hear from collectors who find really unusual items, and learn about the stories behind the finds, and would be happy to feature them on this blog!


  1. Some one said in 1970 when I first read Deighton's “Bomber” that to be a very successful novelist telling spy stories, one has to a very astute historian too. There were a number of fascinating facts on a number of aspects of this period of war-torn Europe, when Britain fought to defeat a maniac. The Bomber Command was central to this crusade. I am more interested here about the 3-page forward. 3-pages of forward is significant, and it is interesting to note that the concluding volume of Bernard Samson trilogy was published in 1996, the same year this book was also published. In writing this significant forward, Deighton then presumably had some time to think about the RAF raids on Germany and on the effects of bombing raids on London and Germany alike at different times in the above period.

  2. Bomber remains one of the greatest pieces of aviation writing ever, fact or fiction.

    I do hope SS-GB does well. Then perhaps we'll finally see Bomber filmed.