Another interesting piece is who were the Cliftons based on.
Have a read of
scroll down to . . . . Dorothy & the link to The English Patient.
by Allan Hall in Berlin:
The Second World War spy who inspired the womanising hero of THE ENGLISH PATIENT was actually gay and in love with a soldier, according to newly-discovered letters.
Intimate correspondence written by the Hungarian-born adventurer Count Laszlo de Almasy, who was the inspiration for the novel by Michael Ondaatje that was made into an Oscar-winning film, shows he had a relationship with a soldier called Hans Entholt.
The Heinrich Barth Institute for African Studies in Cologne made the claim but had yet to publish the details. A member of the institute's staff told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine that the letters showed he had several homosexual relationships: "Egyptian princes were among Almasy's lovers."
Entholt, an officer in the Wehrmacht, died during Rommel's retreat from Africa after stepping on one of his own side's landmines.
The letters also show that Almasy did not die of a morphine overdose after suffering terrible burns, the fate that befell the fictional hero played by Ralph Fiennes in the film. Instead, Almasy succumbed to amoebic dysentery in 1951.
Born the son of a Hungarian nobleman, Almasy is portrayed in the film as the handsome young lover of an Englishwoman in pre-war Cairo. During the war he smuggled Nazi agents through the Sahara as part of his missions for the Brandenburg Division, a unit that carried out acts of sabotage behind enemy lines.
Almasy was one of a number of pre-war explorers recruited by German intelligence in attempts to diminish British influence across Africa.