Historical Context Edit
Despite the scribblings of Ian Fleming, Alistair MacLean, and Tom Clancy, the doings of most spies are far less glamorous – in fact, downright grim – or rewarding than most think. While employed in various times and places throughout history with more or less success, espionage has been a useful policy of the state only since Francis Walsingham in Elizabethan England developed most modern methods of uncovering or concealing state secrets (such as cryptography, forgery, seduction, blackmail, assassination, and more). And it is rare that spies do so for noble reasons; most are either well-paid or blackmailed into undertaking such a dangerous career. Although there have been some notable periods when spy-craft was rampant, none matched the era of the Cold War in methods or activities across the globe. But the “romance” was drained from the spy business with the advent of electronic and satellite information gathering that the superpowers seized upon in the 1990s. Bond would be terribly disappointed.