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A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of WWII's Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall
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Sonia Purnell
A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of WWII's Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall by Sonia Purnell at Abbey's Bookshop,

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of WWII's Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall

Sonia Purnell


Little Brown

Biography: historical, political & military;
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000;
Second World War;
Espionage & secret services


400 pages

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In 1942, the Gestapo would stop at nothing to track down a mysterious 'limping lady' who was fighting for the freedom of France. The Nazi chiefs issued a simple but urgent command: 'She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.'

The Gestapo's target was Virginia Hall, a glamorous American with a wooden leg who broke through the barriers against her gender and disability to be the first woman to infiltrate Vichy France for the SOE. In so doing she helped turn the course of the intelligence war.

This is the epic tale of an heiress who determined that a hunting accident would not define her existence; a young woman who gambled her life to fight for the freedoms she believed in; an espionage novice who helped to light the flame of French Resistance.

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.

By:   Sonia Purnell
Imprint:   Little Brown
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 32mm
Weight:   580g
ISBN:   9780349010175
ISBN 10:   034901017X
Pages:   400
Publication Date:   March 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sonia Purnell is an author, journalist and broadcaster known for her investigative skills and lively writing style. Her first book, Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition, was long listed for the Orwell Prize for its insightful and ground breaking portrait of Boris Johnson. Her second book, First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill, tells the astonishing but previously untold story of Clementine Churchill, was hailed on both sides of the Atlantic as 'riveting', 'eye-opening' and 'exemplary', and was shortlisted for the prestigious Plutarch award for Best Biography of the year. Sonia writes for a variety of newspapers and is a regular broadcaster in Britain and abroad. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.

A gripping, relevant and timely read about a remarkable woman from a talented writer - Deborah Frances-White, author of The Guilty Feminist Riveting ... one of the most breath-taking stories yet told of female courage behind enemy lines - Sarah Helm, author of If This Is A Woman and A Life In Secrets Impressively researched and compellingly written, this brilliant biography puts Virginia Hall - and her prosthetic leg Cuthbert - back where they belong: right in the heart of resistance history - Clare Mulley, author of The Spy Who Loved and The Women Who Flew for Hitler What a fascinating story! With careful research and skillful writing, Purnell takes you deep into the covert operations Hall led in Nazi-occupied France ... Riveting - Douglas Waller, author of Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage

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