More than 70 years after her death, Mata Hari is still a household name throughout the Western world. This is a biography of the Dutch hat-maker's daughter who was executed for espionage after a secret trial during the darkest days of World War I. It examines the myths and fantasies that have grown up around the woman portrayed on screen by such talents as Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo; and it asks questions about the reality of women's role in the exclusive and hidden world of espionage and the way in which the life of Margaretha Zelle McLeod has been mythologized into that of "Mata Hari" - Malay for "rising sun". The book offers the general reader an introduction to the world of espionage, together with insights into the nature of treachery, patriotic hysteria and the perpetuation of the idea of the seductive and dangerous temptress. The author also wrote "Amazons and Military Maidens".