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Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Length: 296 pages

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Product Description

Review

"Her thrilling but sad story is told in this book." - Paul Callan, Daily Express" --The Daily Express

About the Author

Shrabani Basu lives in London where she is a correspondent for the Ananda Bazaar Patrika Group. She writes for the Telegraph, Sunday magazine and other publications in the group. She is the author of Curry (Sutton 2003).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 562 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (11 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752463683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752463681
  • ASIN: B0078XH9CE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,183 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I spotted this book early on when released. I read it with great excitement, it was thoroughly researched detailing Noor's life and her talents for Morse and wireless operating and codes are expertly examined. Her character was considered unusual, even unsuitable for an agent - dreamy, spiritual, careless with security, conspiciously beautiful and unable to lie with ease. But her essential qualities were needed - expert radio communications and perfect French, due to her unbringing in France. Her tragic death is also detailed and again the story has had many differing versions in previous publications on Noor's life and SOE in general. I was lucky enough to meet the author where I chatted to her and urged her to sign her books. Signed copies are available at Hatchards books shop, Piccadilly should any fans wish to buy some, one or two might be left. I could also recommend Vera Atkins, A Life in Secrets which also covers Noor and other women agents as well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up reading the Sufi books of Hazrat Inayat Khan from childhood, and these profoundly moving insights into life have guided so much of my ideals since. I was quite shocked when I learned very recently of the very different life his beloved daughter Nur-un-Nissa had tragically cut short.
Hers was an idyllic life with a deeply blissful childhood in Britain. Come World War 2, she opted perhaps incongruently with her upbringing, for service with the Special Ops Executive as a Wireless operator in occupied France. Dubbed the 'Potty Princess' by SOE members, nevertheless she proved outstandingly courageous when finally dropped into France where she lasted a few months typing out vital messages on her wireless. Her death came after Gestapo interrogation and her death was swift on arrival in Dachau where on a shot to the head she was desposed of in the ovens. To read the life changing works of her father is to understand how extraordinarily tragic was the death of this brave young girl, of the noble house of Tipu Sultan. As a War account, this is a well written story of one the thousands of unsung heroes of that terrible period in history revealing the great risks of that courageous organisation the SOE.
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By A Customer on 12 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Knowing little about Noor Inayat Khan except the legends, this was an incredibly moving biography of the princess who fought for Britain. I found her story to be extraordinary because she was so different from the hardened war operatives - a gentle musician with Sufi inclinations. It must have been so difficult for her in the field, and she must have been so frightened, but she put up such a brave show when she died - her last words of liberté showed they could not break her spirit. The book does a fine job in dispelling the myths and a compulsive page turner.
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By A Customer on 12 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Knowing little about Noor Inayat Khan except the legends, this was an incredibly moving biography of the princess who fought for Britain. I found her story to be extraordinary because she was so different from the hardened war operatives - a gentle musician with Sufi inclinations. It must have been so difficult for her in the field, and she must have been so frightened, but she put up such a brave show when she died - her last words of liberté showed they could not break her spirit. The book does a fine job in dispelling the myths and a compulsive page turner.
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By A Customer on 16 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover
A truly fascinating insight into the life of a forgotten heroine. It was a gripping read; Basu has clearly done a lot of research, taking the reader on a journey from her birthplace in Moscow to her final moments in Dachau. Basu also explores the inner workings of the SOE and the many flaws that took place which lead to the tragic demise of Noor and her colleagues. Noor's story as narrated by Basu is very touching, and her haunting beauty makes the tale all the more poignant. I had been previously been unaware of the Indian contribution to the war effort, and Basu's book brings this to light. I would definitely reccomend this to all readers as it has something for everyone.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully written book that is the perfect blend of thorough research and interesting biography. It is so well researched that I was left with no unresolved questions, and though I found it a harrowing account of a truly brave and wonderful young lady, I felt that this book does her great, and well deserved, honour and justice. It is rare to find such a well written book, highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Noor Inayat Khan was the daughter of an Indian Sufi mystic of royal heritage and his American wife. The family lived in Paris before the second world war broke out and Noor wrote and published children’s stories. When the Nazis invaded France Noor and her family escaped to England where she joined the WAAF. Later she was recruited by SOE as a wireless operator and returned to Paris in what was one of the most dangerous jobs of the war (average life expectancy of an undercover wireless operator was six weeks).
Noor is an utterly compelling character. While training to be an SOE agent most of her instructors were adamant she should not be used. She was easily flustered, scatter-brained, terrified of weapons. She was also beautiful and thus highly conspicuous – the obverse of ideal for a secret agent. SOE however were desperate for wireless operators. Upon arriving in France she quickly made several highly dangerous mistakes – forgetting passwords, leaving her codes lying about, preserving written versions of all the messages she sent to London which she was told to destroy. And yet, she was to become tremendously courageous and cunning and eventually was the last Wireless operator at large in Paris with the entire Paris Gestapo on her trail.
It has to be said this isn’t a great biography. This isn’t wholly the fault of the biographer (though her repeated reference to British “jets” becomes annoying as surely it’s common knowledge Britain was yet to produce a jet aircraft in 1943/44). By the nature of her work Noor was elusive. The months before her capture she was often alone or liaising with fellow agents who were to be executed by the Nazis. So there are big gaps which have to be filled in with guesswork, which is also true of periods of her captivity in Gestapo prisons.
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