Re: RARA-AVIS: Spy Fiction in the '60s

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 27 Feb 2003

> > Aside from the Bond films, there were three films
> > featuring Michael Caine as Len Deighton's British
> > agent "Harry Palmer,"
> Well, not exactly Deighton's Harry Palmer.
> In his books, the agent is nameless.
> But the movie adaptations dubbed him Harry Palmer.
> -- Sidney.
I always thought the "Harry Palmer" name was a joke, specifically one referring to masturbation. There's an old expression about "Rosy Palmer and her five daughters" and the old jokey myth about getting hairy palms. Sort of a synonym for the Brit (& Aussie) expression, "wanker". You're right that the name isn't used in the Deighton novels, at least the 3 that I read. I'm sure Officer Jim is aware of this, hence the quotation marks around the name.


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