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Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan
 
 

Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan [Kindle Edition]

Shrabani Basu , M. R. D. Foot
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

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

Product Description

This is the riveting story of Noor Inayat Khan, a descendant of an Indian Prince Tipu Sultan (the Tiger of Mysore), who became a British secret agent for SOE during World War II. Shrabani Basu tells the moving story of Noor's life, from her birth in Moscow -- where her father was a Sufi preacher -- to her capture by the Germans. Noor was one of only three women SOE agents awarded the George Cross and, under torture, revealed nothing, not even her own real name. Kept in solitary confinement, her hands and feet chained together, Noor was starved and beaten, but the Germans could not break her spirit. Then months after she was captured, she was taken to Dachau concentration camp and, on 13th September 194, she was shot. Her last word was 'Liberte'.

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:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,498 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super new investigation for Noor 28 Nov 2006
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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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Biography 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A haunting tragedy 21 Aug 2009
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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed... 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly researched 8 Feb 2007
By reader
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read 28 Aug 2011
By Sally
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an amazingly brave woman, and this is such a sad story. Very well researched and really makes the heroic events of SOE come alive.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enigma Wrapped In A Legend 17 May 2010
Format:Paperback
I found this book to be an eminently readable version of the life of perhpas the most appealing of the doomed SOE "secret agents" of the Second World War. The author is or was the London correspondent of a leading Indian newspaper and understands the Indian context well.

The author must be a good journalist. The facts are well-marshalled and I should say that this book gives a far more detailed version of the subject's life than I have seen elsewhere. The subject's background is detailed here: born in the Moscow Kremlin; father a musician but of royal blood in Gujarat; her still-published childrens' stories etc.

The weakness of the book, as another reviewer has noted, is that the author struggles to find or supply any real ideological or personal reason why Noor Inayat Khan (a North Indian royal on her father's side, Irish-American --if I recall aright-- on the mother's) volunteered for this kind of work --or any--. She had a Jewish suitor (despite the best efforts of her family to cold-shoulder him) for the six years up to 1939, when she herself managed to shake him off. Was the anti-Jewish ideology of National Socialism a motive for her volunteering to become what some would call a saboteur and terrorist (her actual role was the very risky one of radio operator)? We are not told. She was very pro Indian independence yet was keen to fight for the British Empire, albeit in France against the German Reich. Why? Probably the author did not know and, professionally, quite properly refused to speculate.

I found a few minor flaws, mostly when the author tried to make general statements, rather than in respect of the subject of the book as such.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
An excellent account of a very brave woman. I highly recommend this book.
Published 5 hours ago by K. Chadwick
5.0 out of 5 stars gone but not forgotten
A history of noor inayat khan who was one of the bravest SOE operatives. The book simply tells her tale without embellishments and provides an insight into this heroines life
Published 2 days ago by Fingordie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely loved this book, sad that I've finished it! What an amazing inspiring woman
Published 23 days ago by Clare Houston
4.0 out of 5 stars Pawn or Queen in SOE
Very sad ending for a heroic woman but was she just an expendable soldier at the end of the day?
I disliked the beginning part of this book as the home detail was tedious and... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Mr. John M. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars What an incredible woman
I came across this book in Waterstones, by sheer chance. I bought it as a present for someone else, but in the end read it myself, while being sceptical about how much exactly... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Andy Graham, Truro
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Story
What a fantastic book about an amazing and courageous lady. Definitely worth a read. Could not put the book down.
Published 5 months ago by Daz
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot put it down....
This is the most compelling biography I have ever read. Very well researched and great details of the overwhelming bravery of this incredible young lady who played a vital part in... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Farnesy
3.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity
A real story, well worth the telling, of a woman who undertook probably the most hazardous duties in the Second World War. Unfortunately this book doesn't quite deliver. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Wee Davey
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant reading
this book really makes you think. women should read this. what these ladies went through for this country is out standing.
Published 11 months ago by patricia
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave lady
This was a great war story. All these people who served as agents dury WW2 were the bravest of women
Published 11 months ago by L. Matheson
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