Spymistress: The Life of Vera Atkins, the Greatest Female Secret Agent of World War II

Spymistress: The Life of Vera Atkins, the Greatest Female Secret Agent of World War II

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by William Stevenson
     
 

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A rousing tale of espionage and unsung valor, this is the captivating true story of Vera Atkins, Great Britain's spymistress from the age of 25. With her fierce intelligence, blunt manner, personal courage, and exceptional informants, Vera ran countless missions throughout the 1930s. After rising to the leadership echelon in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a…  See more details below

Overview

A rousing tale of espionage and unsung valor, this is the captivating true story of Vera Atkins, Great Britain's spymistress from the age of 25. With her fierce intelligence, blunt manner, personal courage, and exceptional informants, Vera ran countless missions throughout the 1930s. After rising to the leadership echelon in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a covert intelligence agency formed by Winston Churchill, she became head of a clandestine army in World War II. Her team went deep behind enemy lines, linked up with resistance fighters, destroyed vital targets, helped Allied pilots escape capture, assassinated German soldiers, and radioed information back to London. As the biographer of her mentor in the SOE, William Stevenson was the only person Vera Atkins trusted to record her story.

About the Author: William Stevenson was trained in aerial espionage as a British naval fighter pilot during World War II. A respected historian and expert on covert warfare, he is the author of 16 books including A Man Called Intrepid and Ninety Minutes at Entebbe. He lives in Toronto.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
For most of her life, hardly anyone knew that Vera Atkins (1908�2000) had been the able assistant of Col. Maurice Buckmaster, who headed the F-Section (France) of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), which promoted Nazi resistance in occupied Europe during World War II. Atkins's main task was to train the 400-plus secret agents sent to France to oppose the Germans. Her undercover career first came to light in Sarah Helm's A Life in Secrets(an LJBest Book of 2006), and now Stevenson, who is famous for his classic A Man Called Intrepid, has produced a second major biography of Atkins drawing on sources not consulted by Helm. For example, he takes advantage of his connections with spymaster William Stephenson ("Intrepid") and his wife, Mary, whose relationship with Atkins went back to the 1930s, to fill in many details not emphasized by Helm (her book has no entry for Stephenson in its index or bibliography). This book thus provides additional insights into the day-to-day work of Atkins as she recruited and trained agents. However, it barely covers the remarkable story of Atkins's seeking to learn the fates of her lost agents after the war, the angle taken by Helm's book. Therefore, both biographies form a fine duo. If libraries can acquire only one, they should opt for Helm.
—Edward Goedeken

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559707633
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
02/21/2007
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.12(d)

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