Odette: World War Two's Darling Spy

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History, 2009 - History - 192 pages
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Odette Brailly entered the nation's consciousness in the 1950s when her remarkable - and romantic - exploits as an SOE agent first came to light. She had been the first woman to be awarded the GC, as well as the Legion d'Honneur, and in 1950 the release of a film about her life made her the darling of the British popular press. But others openly questioned Odette's personal and professional integrity, even claiming that she had a clandestine affair with her supervisor Capt. Peter Churchill, with whom she had worked undercover in France. Soon she became as controversial as she was celebrated. In the first full biography of this incredible woman for nearly sixty years, historian Penny Starn delves into recently opened SOE personnel files to reveal the true story of this wartime heroine and the officer who posed as her husband. From her life as a French housewife living in Britain and her work undercover with the French Resistance, to her arrest, torture and unlikely survival in Ravensbruck concentration camp, Starns reveals for the first time the truth of Odette's mission and the heart-breaking identity of her real betrayer.

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User Review  - KathrynAtwood - LibraryThing

The biographical facts of Odette Brailly Sansom Churchill Hallowes, as presented in Penny Starns’ new book, form a tale of sweeping historical context, duty, passion, and courage. The daughter of a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - vanessajw - LibraryThing

a much needed modern research on Odette's remarkable and admirable career, from mother to survivor, after extreme gestapo torture and being condemned to death. With co-operation from her family the ... Read full review


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About the author (2009)

Penny Starns is an historian and the author of Evacuation of Children During World War II and Nurses at War.

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