She Landed By Moonlight: The Story of Secret Agent Pearl Witherington: the 'real Charlotte Gray' Paperback – 30 Jan 2014
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The truth is that Sebastian Faulk's novel...stands on its own, but so does She Landed by Moonlight, the long-awaited biography that Agent Pearl deserves. (The Times)
Dialogue is recreated, scenes are set and we are given a character's thoughts, feelings and reactions. Pearl's story [is] so well-documented and her exploits so extraordinary. (Independent Book of the Week)
Quietly moving... Carol Seymour-Jones has done an excellent job in bringing Witherington's courage, commitment and ability to light, sensibly focusing on her war years when she lived to her full potential. (Spectator)
It took until 2004 - four years before her death - for her own country to belatedly present her with a CBE. As this biography makes clear, the brave and wholly admirable Pearl Witherington deserved much, much better. (Sunday Times)
Carole Seymour-Jones does full justice to a truly remarkable and little-known woman. (Country Life)
This biography successfully establishes her in the pantheon of the very bravest and best, up there with such legendary figures as Violette Szabo, Andree Borrel, Madeline Damerment and Nancy Wake. (Sebastian Faulks Mail on Sunday)
Thoroughly researched and perceptive (The Lady)
'A gripping tale. A story of narrow escapes, lost and betrayed comrades and incessant danger.' (Literary Review)
The gripping account of World War Two's legendary heroine, who risked her life to save her country and her lover.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
"She Landed by Moonlight: The Story of Secret Agent Pearl Witherington" by Carole Seymour-Jones was a good book telling a story a young woman who passion for her country would lead her to fight for her country. This was a good book and a great story about one woman's fight.
I'm sorry to have to say that this is more akin to a novel than a serious biography although it does give a good basic outline of Pearl's life. Details of how she managed to gather and keep command of such a large Maquis group and also their operations are lacking or skimmed over. Whilst information is needed on other Circuits and their interaction with Pearl's Circuit there are far too many references to other aspects of SOE's war that have no relationship to what Pearl did. One example of this is Giskes's 'Operation Nordpol', the Abwehr operation against SOE's Dutch section; other than the fact that this operation was against SOE and Pearl was in SOE there is no connection, so it rather smacks of 'padding'.
Was it really necessary to include details of her sexual relationship with Henri? Wouldn't it have been better to give more information on her Circuit's operations against the Das Reich SS Panzers which was of far more importance to the outcome of the Battle for Normandy?
Pearl Witherington was an exceptionally brave SOE agent who had no illusions about what would happen to her if she was captured. She was (along with all other SOE agents) treated abominably by de Gaulle at the end of the war by being ordered to leave France within 48 hours. At least she was awarded the Legion d'Honneur. She was feisty enough to tell the British authorities what they could do with their civil MBE - 'there was nothing remotely "civil" about what I did.' She had to wait 60 years for her parachute 'wings' ...Read more ›
Carole Seymour-Jones's brilliant book charts the story of the Anglo-French secretary who volunteers for SOE and ends up as one of the most formidable agents in France in the second world war, leading an army of 4000 resistance fighters, which holds back the German panzer divisions from the beaches of Normandy, and so helps to win the war.
Seymour-Jones's book is finely crafted, deftly mixing personal, political and military. The book is unconventional in its approach to biography - refreshingly so. This book is for anyone interested in history, courage, spying, and the second world war. I found it compellingly readable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Contains a lot of background info to help set the scene but I found it to be a great read.Published 8 months ago by Lynne McE
Excellent book! Well written with historical content all about one amazing woman!Published 12 months ago by Mrs V Burt
Without doubt the best book I have read - and I have read many, being particularly interested in the subject - of the French resistance to the Nazi occupation. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Nigel P.
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