Talk:Donald Maclean (spy)

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"Had Blunt learned of the impending questioning of Maclean, and warned Burgess that the time had come?" - this is the first mention of Blunt since the very beginning, when Maclean gets recruited. It's a confusing mention for anyone reading this through without prior knowledge of Blunt's story. Could someone expand this mention with details of what Blunt was up to, and why he would be in a position to tip off Burgess?

I am looking for a famly tree of Donald Duart Maclean. Can anyone help?

From Oxford Dictionary of National Biography v.35 (2004):
b. 25 May 1913, third of four sons and five children of Sir Donald Maclean (1864-1932), Liberal politician and cabinet minister, his wife Gwendolen Margerat, eldest daughter of Andrew Devitt JP of Oxtet Surrey.
Sir Donald Maclean's father was the elder of two sons of John Maclean (no dates), a master cordwainer native of the Hebrides; his mother Agnes Macmellin (1833-1924) was a Gaelic-speaking Scottish highlander. Both Presbyterians.
Entries are provided for both Donald & his father Sir Donald with sourcing. Nobs01 16:53, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why in the world is "Soviet Spy" before his name every time it's mentioned, as if it were part of his name? Terrible writing, that.

Because for most people, the name alone is not enough to spark recognition. Failing to communicate with the majority of your readership is surely worse, no?

Maclean, his (? ex-)wife, and Philby[edit]

In "Life in the Soviet Union", it says Maclean and his wife were divorced and she married Kim Philby. In "Family", it says Maclean's wife began an affair with Kim Philby and went to live with him, making no mention of any divorce from Maclean. What’s the truth? Did the Macleans divorce or not? And if so, did she marry Philby or live with him as de factos? -- JackofOz 06:54, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I think I wrote that 'Family' section, Jack. Philby defected to the Soviet Union in 1963 and was joined in Moscow by his American wife Eleanor, whom he had been living with in Beirut. In 1965, Eleanor left Philby and returned to the US, where she died in 1968. Philby had begun an affair with Maclean's American wife Melinda (whose maiden name was Melinda Marling), probably in 1965. She left Maclean and went to live with Philby in 1968. However, they didn't marry and he left her for a much younger Russian woman called Rufina Ivanova, whom he married in 1971. Melinda Maclean is still alive and using the name Maclean. I believe the Macleans' marriage broke down rather than ending in divorce. Philby's four wives were: (1) Alice (Litzi) Friedman, m. 1934, divorced 1946; (2) Aileen Furse, m. 1946, died 1957; (3) Eleanor Brewer, m. 1959, died 1968; (4) Rufina Ivanova, m. 1971, still alive. Some of this is missing from the Kim Philby article, I'll update it. Xn4 21:43, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Xn4. Nice to run into a Ref Desk colleague out here in the trenches. I'm seeing more and more - not just on WP but generally - separations being described as "divorces", and divorces being described as "annulments". So it's not always easy to know exactly what people are talking about when they use these terms, hence my call for clarification. If you have the facts and cites, I'm sure you're in a better position than me to edit the article to remove the terminological inexactitude. Cheers. -- JackofOz 22:08, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I've fixed it. Xn4 22:27, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

-How can Alexander Matthew Renick MacLean III be both his great grandson and his great grand nephew?

-Why does this article use so many commas? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:27, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

All the articles on the Cambridge Spies suffer from 'crazy commas'. I assume the same person wrote the bulk of all the articles, and five attempts failed to produce a successful use of punctuation. BearAllen (talk) 01:43, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

British Intelligence[edit]

When did Maclean work for the MI5 or MI6? The article only mentions his government employment in the Foreign Office, without a word of any work for the MI5 or MI6 (although the infobox on the right alleges that Maclean was an MI5 agent). PasswordUsername (talk) 18:21, 26 April 2009 (UTC)


Are you kidding me? Who on earth thought using the script of a drama was eligible as a source for a serious article? And reproducing a made-up conversation verbatim? Just turns the whole thing in to a joke. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:23, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Urgh, written like a book[edit]

Whow this article is bad. It reads like a story book.
"When Modin had recovered, he drew the half postcard from his pocket. Melinda immediately fell silent, reached across for her bag in the car, and produced the other half."
and lets not forget this beauty..
"But Melinda usually concealed her thoughts behind an expressionless look. "I will not admit that my husband, the father of my children, is a traitor to his country", she would say in outraged tones."

The use of such emotive and descriptive language feels so very odd and disturbing in this article. Is this normally allowed? (talk) 01:32, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

His education[edit]

In the infobox, we have 'Greshams School' and 'Trinity Hall, Cambridge', both in red, while there are perfectly good links to the websites of both these acclaimed educational establishments. Valetude (talk) 22:00, 20 September 2015 (UTC)


In the Talk Page, this is classified under 'Start-Class LGBT articles' and 'WikiProject LGBT studies articles' - but not on the main page. I don't understand why Maclean is classed at LGBT at all. Are you sure it isn't Burgess you're classifying? Valetude (talk) 23:15, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

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