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Clare Mulley
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The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville
 
 
Author
Clare Mulley.
Publisher St. Martin's  
Format hardcover
ISBN 9781250030320
Pages/Publication Date 426/2013
Daedalus Item Code 39030
List Price: $26.99
Sale Price: $18.95
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In June 1952, a woman was murdered by an obsessed colleague in a hotel in the South Kensington district of London. Her death certificate accurately indicated that she died from a stab wound to her chest; nearly everything else it recorded, however—even her name, Christine Granville—was a fabrication, Clare Mulley tells us. The daughter of a feckless Polish aristocrat and his wealthy Jewish wife, Granville had in fact been one of Britain's most daring and highly decorated special agents in World War II. She skied over the hazardous High Tatras into occupied Poland, served in Egypt and North Africa, and was later parachuted behind enemy lines into France, where an agent's life expectancy was only six weeks. Granville's beauty, courage, quick wit, and determination won her release from arrest more than once, and saved the lives of several fellow officers—including one of her many lovers—just hours before their executions by the Gestapo. Over her five-year career she was awarded the George Medal, the OBE, and the Croix de Guerre, and she may even have inspired Ian Fleming's Vesper Lynd, the tragic heroine of Casino Royale. A winner of the Daily Mail Biographers' Club Prize for The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb, Mulley tells the extraordinary history of this charismatic, difficult, and fearless woman.

"Christine Granville's short life—told with terrific élan and mesmerizing detail by Clare Mulley ... [is a] captivating female version of the Scarlet Pimpernel.... Christine Granville remains as alive, well and compelling as ever: a figure of radiant magnetism, ruthless determination and a courage that—as several of them attested—could make a strong man shudder."—Telegraph (London), 5 stars out of 5

"This is the first book about [Granville] for more than 30 years—and it painstakingly disentangles her complex story and equally complex character. Clare Mulley has made a fine and soberly thrilling addition to the literature of the undercover war—the sort that does not exaggerate or mythologize.... Christine did not want a normal life: all she cared for was freedom, independence and adventure—the more dangerous, the better. This book, massively researched and excitingly told, brings an extraordinary heroine back to life."—Daily Mail (London)

 
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