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

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

The incredible untold story of Virginia Hall, an American woman with a wooden leg who infiltrated Occupied France for the SOE and became the Gestapo's most wanted Allied spy, written by acclaimed biographer Sonia Purnell.

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Quick Reference

ISBN 9780349010175
Barcode 9780349010175
Published 26 March 2019 by Little, Brown Book Group
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Purnell, Sonia
Availability Indent title (sourced internationally), usually ships 4-6 weeks post release/order

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780349010175
ISBN-10 034901017X
Stock Available
Status Indent title (sourced internationally), usually ships 4-6 weeks post release/order
Publisher Little, Brown Book Group
Imprint Virago Press Ltd
Publication Date 26 March 2019
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Author(s) By Purnell, Sonia
Category Biography & Autobiography: Historical, Political & Military
World History: From C 1900 -
World History: Second World War
Military History
Espionage & Secret Services
Battles & Campaigns
Number of Pages 416
Dimensions Width: 152mm
Height: 232mm
Spine: 32mm
Weight 580g
Interest Age 16+ years
Reading Age 16+ years
Library of Congress Women spies - Biography - United States, Women intelligence officers - Biography - United States, Spies - Biography - United States, Intelligence officers - Biography - United States, World War, 1939-1945 - Secret service - United States
NBS Text Biography: Historical, Political & Military
ONIX Text General/trade;College/higher education;Professional and scholarly
Dewey Code 940.548673092
Catalogue Code 972246

Description of this Book

The incredible true and untold story of Virginia Hall, an American woman with a wooden leg who infiltrated Occupied France for the SOE and became the Gestapo's most wanted Allied spy, by acclaimed biographer Sonia Purnell. The remarkable double life of an American-turned-British spy, Virginia Hall, a bolshie woman from Maryland who, determined to overcome a physical disability that threatened to define her life, successfully infiltrated Vichy France for England's SOE before America's entry into WW II and then, three years later, for the SOS, providing crucial intelligence and logistics for the mounting French Resistance and, later, Allied troops. This is a compelling and inspiring tale of resistance, heroism, spycraft and overcoming prejudice, based on brand new and extensive research, for anyone who loves reading Ben Macintyre, Rick Stroud's LONELY COURAGE or Sarah Helm's A LIFE IN SECRETS.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review 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! Unbroken by a shooting accident that resulted in her left leg being amputated below the knee, Baltimore socialite Virginia Hall was determined to make a difference in World War II. With careful research and skilful writing, Sonia Purnell, in A Woman of No Importance, takes you deep into the covert operations Hall led in Nazi-occupied France, first for the British and then for the Americans. Readers will find this tale of her cunning and courage riveting * Douglas Waller, author of Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage * In a riveting narrative that both astonishes and intrigues, Sonia Purnell presents one of the most breath-taking stories yet told of female courage behind enemy lines. For too long, the world ignored the role played by women in resisting Nazi occupation across Europe. As Purnell reveals, however, none of these unsung heroines were more steely than Virginia Hall, a young American - known as 'the limping lady' - whose readiness for self-sacrifice in the face of near certain death is all the more impressive given her own physical disability. The strength of this book lies not only in Purnell's intimate and moving portrayal of Virginia's secret work - holding her nerve even as she is hunted down in Klaus Barbie's Lyon - but also in the new light shed on the betrayal, bravery and bungling of Churchill's Special Operations Executive for which Virginia worked. Some of SOE's most celebrated male agents would later acknowledge that their own lives had depended solely on this young woman's sense of duty to survive * Sarah Helm, author of If This Is A Woman and A Life In Secrets *
UK Review Bertrams Star Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)

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Author's Bio

Sonia Purnell is a biographer and journalist who has written for The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and The Sunday Times. Her book First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill was a book of the year in the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and Lenny Letter, and was shortlisted for the Plutarch Award for Best Biography. Her first book, Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition, was longlisted for the Orwell prize.

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