How Legendary Spy Novelist Frederick Forsyth Learned He’d Been ‘Bowdlerized’

"Good morning. A pleasure to meet you. Please forgive my attire. A difficult night.”

Somewhat disheveled and wearing only a bathrobe and slippers, Frederick Forsyth greeted me from what I assumed to be a favorite armchair in his living room. I felt slightly envious of a man who had reached an age and level of success where he doesn’t care what people think about him and doesn’t need to care.

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Crisp, unwrinkled copies of The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph sat neatly on an ottoman in front of him awaiting his inspection. With an unexpected display of strength, his 60-something personal assistant lifted a substantial chair off the floor and moved it close to her employer, inviting me to sit down before she withdrew to get us coffee.

“So what is required of me?” Forsyth began with a formality that belied his ensemble. “An interview, is it?”

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