Thursday, March 30, 2023

A Female Spy With One Leg

Sonia Purnell
is the highly acclaimed biographer, journalist and public speaker who wrote the New York Times bestselling book 'A Woman of No Importance' about the heroic American one-legged spy Virginia Hall was released in 2020. The tale of extraordinary derring-do has been acclaimed as 'one of the most breathtaking stories yet told of female courage behind enemy lines'.

If you did not get a chance to read the book, I bring it to your attention now. It is well worth reading. Her book is one of USA Today's Five Must Reads and has been hailed as 'gripping' by NPR and 'a very smooth read about a rocky life' and as 'brilliant' by the Irish Times while The Economist said: 'As tales of wartime derring-do go, it would be hard to beat'. 'It's a joy to read,' said Booklist, ' and will swell readers' hearts with pride.' Sonia's book has also been hailed as one of the best Books of the Year in The Times of London. Details of forthcoming lectures in the US will appear shortly on her website

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall--an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

“Excellent…This book is as riveting as any thriller, and as hard to put down.” -- The New York Times Book Review
"A compelling biography of a masterful spy, and a reminder of what can be done with a few brave people -- and a little resistance." - NPR
"A meticiulous history that reads like a thriller." - Ben Macintyre
A never-before-told story of Virginia Hall, the American spy who changed the course of World War II, from the author of Clementine.

A descript . . .In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her."

The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill's "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare." She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and--despite her prosthetic leg--helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.

Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.

1 comment:

  1. Do see Liberté (Catch-up TV for Sky History 21 February) and do look up Noor Inayat Khan. She was an extraordinary pacifist and secret agent whose heroism as a spy in the Second World War posthumously earned her a George Cross. If you are interested in books that feature her best look her up in Wikipedia for starters.

    Let’s hope Liberté is as beguiling and beautifully staged as the play about her was at the Southwark Playhouse in London. Both are must see espionage if you get the chance.

    If you like wartime stories of heroic female spies don’t miss Sara Burlington in Beyond Enkription in The Burlington Files series of novels based on the life and times of ex-spook Bill Fairclough (MI6 codename JJ) aka Edward Burlington.

    Sara was his mother and we’ll guarantee you will loathe her and love her by the time you get to the end of this loosely fact based espionage thriller. Exactly what Sara got up to in WW2 may have had some poetic license applied but the sub-plot weaves wondrously throughout the thriller!