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Norroy, Yorke. Yorke Norroy was created by George Bronson-Howard (Plantagenet Hock, Bradley Lane, Nugent Leguerre) and appeared in thirty-six stories in The Popular Magazine from 1905 to 1923, beginning with “How Norroy Created a New Republic” (The Popular Magazine, Apr. 1905).
Yorke Norroy is one of the earliest secret agents of the James Bond type, and is a departure from the amateur gentlemen spies which were the norm in espionage fiction in the late 19th and early 20th century. Norroy appears to be a Fop, a "brainless popinjay, a butterfly of fashion, a boneless dandy, suave, slim, elegant." He is well-known for his clothes–his waistcoats are legendary–and is generally regarded as something of an inconsequential lightweight. He prefers it this way, for he is a "diplomatic agent" (read: counter-intelligence agent), and a reputation like that is essential for his work. He is patriotic, but he has other reasons for being a diplomatic agent: “...it's a disease. It gets into the bones; just as crooked gambling does. That's why we are all diplomats--that and because we need the money.” For Norroy, the money is the important reason for doing the job. Norroy worries about his finances and worries about his future. He's hired by the job and is not an official employee of the State Department. He draws no regular salary, gains no official recognition for his work from them, and has no pension to look forward to. He worries about his future, although this never stops him from doing his job, for he is a thorough professional, concerned with doing his job the best he can no matter the opposition or the morals involved in the job's commission: "service to the State excuses all actions, removes these actions from the moral and ethical, transplants them to some neutral place where no values exist, save expediency."
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