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Old School Spies
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.
Author: Mitford, Jessica
Date: Mar 26, 1989
Start Page: x.01

[Robert Cecil Morrow]'s particular be^te noire is homosexuality. [Donald Maclean] was what we used to call in my young days "gold and silver," meaning bisexual. Guy Burgess, with whom Maclean fled to the Soviet Union in 1951, had been a homosexual since his schooldays. Robert Cecil's analysis: their defection "finally drove home the lesson that a deviation in one direction may indicate deviation in another." And again: "Increased notice must be taken of irregularities in colleagues' behaviour and, in particular, homosexual tendencies." As a clincher, he writes of Burgess that as a homosexual "he had no feeliing of being an outcast, because he lacked all sense of shame."

What a pleasure to turn from Robert Cecil's plodding, censorious account of those wretched traitors to [Phillip Knightley]'s marvelously instructive description of the life and times of [Kim Philby], superspy. As a biographer, Knightley takes us through Philby's adolescence, parental influences, his development from student days, loving yet often stormy relationships with various wives and children. All of great interest, and fleshed out with perceptions of those who knew him before and after his defection. The eminent Australian journalist Murray Sayle found him to be "a charming, entertaining man with a great sense of humor." And Graham Greene felt, "He was serving a cause and not himself, so my old liking for him comes back."

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