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Britain's Master Spy: The Adventures of Sidney Reilly Hardcover – Feb 1986

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books (Feb. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088029065X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880290654
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,739,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


British spy Sidney Reilly looks at his life and his attempt to overthrow the Bolshevik regime in Russia and restore the Czar. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy_atGC TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are several books that tell what is essentially the same story but they all dramatically differ from one another.

Sidney Reilly was a self-designated spy from before the beginning of the 20th Century. However, considerable doubt arises as Reilly was an inveterate liar, a fraud, fantasist, thief, serial philanderer and possible murderer (several lady friends, colleagues or opponents disappeared under mysterious circumstances). Much of his travelling was done without any form of officially recognised documentation as details of his birth and true identity are as dubious and unconfirmed as is much ever written about the man. He could not tell the same story twice without there being significant change from a previous telling and much of this book was supposedly written by his last 'wife' after Reilly's presumed disappearance and demise and is based upon episodes that he related to her.

On whose behalf Reilly had spied is unclear and there is little evidence that he was officially recognised by Britain or any other nation. His activities were primarily about securing finances by means fair or foul and he cared little about who footed his bills. However, nothing he did defined him as a spy.

Because this version of the story supposedly came from the hand and mouth of Reilly himself, his lies and tales are believable only if you accept them as having some inherent truth.

NB - the copy I purchased was supposedly rated 'Very Good' for condition but is heavily yellowed throughout and the cover is barely attached.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One needs to do a bit of background reading before reading this "autobiography:" it is really a two part story of Reilly's later years and the second part is his wife's (third wife?) story of how she tried to find out how her husband died. So, read "Go spy the land" by Reilly's equally brave pal, Captain George Hill, but start off with Robin Bruce Lockhart's "Reilly, ace of spies" for the necessary background to the period and for the explanation of Reilly's sudden blossoming into the world of espionage.
When one considers that Reilly could have rid the world of the Soviet version of Communism before it became entrenched but for the dithering of Whitehall and, more immediately, the treachery of a French double agent, one wishes that today's world also had its Reillys.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Reilly, you know, only wrote about one half of this... 8 Aug. 1997
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
marvelous book; the current Mrs. Reilly (Pepita) authored the remainder as she searched Finland and Northern Russia for the missing (and feared dead) Sidney. Pepita even asked Winston Churchill for assistance in finding Sidney. Churchill and Pepita both knew in their hearts that Reilly was being held captive by the Tcheka.
I truly enjoyed the accounting and along with the two other books written about Reilly, I was able to string together many of the shadowy events that took place during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Learned a lot. 9 Aug. 2005
By Midwesterner - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first part of the book deals with Reilly's life as told from his personal notes. The second part is written by his wife who is determined to find out what really happened after his disappearance. Well written, easy to read; makes one want to find out more about 'Britain's Master Spy.' If one is interested in history and international intrique - this is one for you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sidney Reilly 31 May 2013
By Carol - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a fascinating story written by the man who was the spy and his wife. It let me to become interested in reading Russian history which is also fascinating.

The seller sent my purchase in a timely manner and the price was excellent.
Five Stars 20 Feb. 2015
By YiJie Zhuo Dooley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must read for any student of the adventurous life of Sidney Reilly.
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