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The Spy Who Loved: the secrets and lives of one of Britain's bravest wartime heroines by [Mulley, Clare]
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The Spy Who Loved: the secrets and lives of one of Britain's bravest wartime heroines Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Length: 447 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Review

A stunning biographical achievement (Alison Weir)

Clare Mulley tells her story with a bravura that matches Christine's charismatic character (Saga)

A fine account of Christine Granville's extraordinary war, told with skill and care . . . Mulley succeeds in making her human . . .inspiring (Literary Review)

Compulsively readable . . . Clare Mulley has done a dogged piece of detective work piecing together Christine's ultimately tragic life. Understandably obsessed by her charismatic subject, she has written a thrilling book and paid due homage to a difficult woman who seized life with both hands (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

The remarkable story of Krystyna Skarbek, aka Christine Granville, George Medal, OBE and Croix de Guerre.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5559 KB
  • Print Length: 447 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; 1 edition (5 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230759521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230759527
  • ASIN: B0089YAP7M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,614 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clare Mulley has given an excellent account of a war time story that would elude most people who had never heard of the book's subject matter. Being of Polish extract I was drawn to the story and the account of the escapades of this Polish aristocrat Krysztyna Skarbek. Apart from being an account of "daring do" in the second world war, it illumines a period of Polish twentieth century history and the tribulations of the Polish people under the Nazis. However, despite "Christine's" amazing courage in enemy occupied Europe, I drew away from her as the book progressed and felt a dislike for her personality. To my mind despite her courage she appeared to be the sort of person who always wanted her own way. Her personal life shows her to be extrremely promiscous which was probably the thing that eventually led to her death.That is not to detract from the book and the way it was written which is excellent. It's just the subject, Christine. I probably wouldn't have liked her and although men admired her beauty, there are a number of remarks about her from other women who perhaps held a dislike for her. Her turning down a property willed to her and the things that she did, for example, becoming a stewardess for Shaw Savill Line to get to Australia to try and recoup an investment for her friend, show her to be unbalanced.

Strictly then, I believe that she was possibly not of a stable nature; even crazy perhaps. Nevertheless, the book gives an insight into the SOE in occupied Europe and the difficulties in relationships between the various resistancee factions. This book is well worth the read even if Christine doesn't come out of it too well for me. That said I was saddened by the description of her death by a jealous lover and felt that her story might have led elsewhere had she lived.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
one of the best books on espionage I have EVER read absolutely stunning, I just could not put it down, what a woman, such a tragic end for her though. I would recommend it to ANYONE who likes that sort of thing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. It's very gripping, and also interesting. Highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An illustration of the motives that make a Spy do the heroic things that they did. A brave lady whose life ended sadly and early.
Anyone with and interest in WW2 and Poland's role in it will enjoy this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best ww2 book I have ever read! I have re-read this book 3 times. Fantastic!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again Clare Mulley has produced a wonderful biography about a woman I wish I had known a lot more about a long time ago. The remarkable twists and turns in Christine Granville's life are beautifully described in this book. It seems that the author has captured the essence of Christine's intriguing personality in this page-turner. Clare Mulley's scene-setting is such that I could feel my heart racing at key points during Christine's WWII experiences.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Clare Mulley's 'The Spy who Loved' is the very compelling story of Christine Granville, Britain's first female special agent of WW2, who was born Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbeck, in Warsaw in 1908, the daughter of a dissolute Polish aristocrat and his very wealthy Jewish wife. Although the daughter of a count, Christine was never really accepted in the upper echelons of Polish society, due to her being half Jewish and she often felt on the margins of that society; however this only served to make her the ferociously driven and independent individual that she was.

Christine was beautiful, resourceful, courageous, highly motivated and highly sexed; she was fiercely determined and addicted to danger, excitement and adventure. Married to her first husband when she was twenty one years old and married for a second time when she arrived in England after the outbreak of war, Christine presented herself to the British Secret Service and offered to ski over the Tatra Mountains, (with her one-legged lover) into occupied Poland and return with a first-hand account of the situation in Warsaw. And, surprising as it may seem, she was commissioned to do just that, and this hazardous journey over the frozen mountains into Poland, was just one of many dangerous missions undertaken by this rather amazing woman. Apart from skiing into Poland, she served in Egypt, parachuted into occupied France, and saved the lives of many British, Polish and French officers. She made a significant contribution to the war effort by managing to infiltrate her way into the enemy camp and then smuggle information into Britain sewn into the lining of her gloves, with a cyanide tablet sewn into the hem of her skirt in case she should get caught.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to admit that I didn't warm to Krystyna Skarbek in the early chapters of this biography. Perhaps it was the aristocratic I-don't-give-a-damn impression, perhaps I was jealous of the beauty. Anyway it didn't matter as Clare Mulley wasn't asking me to like her subject, just to become aquainted with this unusual personality. I like Mulley's narrative approach throughout. She stands back and describes events with the quiet assurance of thorough research. This enables the reader to stick with Christine (as Krystyna became) through the ups and downs of her extraordinary life. It also makes it easier to see her in context - both the close context of the people who worked with or managed her and the wider historical context. I felt I had learned a great deal more than the story of a life - I had a new angle on WW2 and its aftermath and an unexpected insight Polishness and the quality of extraordinary bravery.
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