David Cornwell, better known by his pen name John le Carré, was a passionate supporter and friend of Morrab Library for many years. As well as holding the role of President from 1997-2002, he later continued for many years as our Patron. His relationship with the Library stretched even further back to the 1970’s.
Mr Cornwell supported the library in a number of ways. Perhaps the most special was his establishment of the Morrab Fellowship, which for a number of years provided a bursary to local sixth-formers to purchase books for their studies. He will be remembered for his vision for the library’s future, and his aim of encouraging young people to join and be inspired by this special place.
His tremendous generosity was evident through his commissioning of the construction of a number of the beautiful Victorian-style mahogany reading tables located in our rooms upstairs, and paying the insurance premium on our book collection throughout his tenure as President. Mr Cornwell also donated copies of all of his books to the library throughout the years.
He also gave his time to many events and meetings to support the library. One very successful fundraiser was a televised event from the Acorn Theatre in 2000, when he was interviewed about his life and writings by Radio Cornwall’s Tim Hubbard in front of a packed audience. Another was an evening in the library, when Radio 4’s James Naughtie interviewed Mr Cornwell for his popular Bookclub show in 1998. The interview was aired the following year and you can listen to it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00fptty
Morrab Library was incredibly fortunate to have Mr Cornwell as a friend, supporter, life member, President and Patron. He wrote of the Morrab Library….”whether you’re an impassioned bibliophile or just someone who loves a good read, the Morrab is for you: a Cornish treasure house, a meeting place for like-minded souls, and a vibrant forum for contemporary writing.” His legacy will endure.
Lisa Di Tommaso