By Sarah Helm
From an award-winning journalist comes this real-life cloak-and-dagger story of Vera Atkins, one in all Britain’s most popular mystery brokers in the course of international struggle II.
As the top of the French component to the British specific Operations government, Vera Atkins recruited, expert, and mentored certain operatives whose task used to be to arrange and arm the resistance in Nazi-occupied France. After the warfare, Atkins courageously dedicated herself to a deadly look for twelve of her so much loved ladies spies who had long gone lacking in motion. Drawing on formerly unavailable resources, Sarah Helm chronicles Atkins’s striking lifestyles and her singular trip during the chaos of post-war Europe. Brimming with intrigue, heroics, honor, and the horrors of warfare, A existence in Secrets is the tale of a grand, elusive girl and a journey de strength of investigative journalism.
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Additional resources for A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII
You just don't know where to look. Their motivations were all different. Many women made good couriers or had worked in coding and had fingers like pianists—they made good radio operators. They might be artists or fashion designers. Why not? They had to be self-reliant, of course. Physical appearance was important. They were all attractive women. ” I asked, mentioning the woman wireless operator whose story I had always found most compelling. Noor Inayat Khan, alias Madeleine, had worked with Prosper, the biggest F Section circuit.
And tucked at random in a long, brown envelope, I found Vera on a mountain pony with a line of others on ponies, on the edge of a forest. A distinguished-looking man was having difficulty controlling his horse, and close to him was Vera, with bobbed hair and riding jacket, clearly in control of her mount. I turned the picture to find a date, 1932, and a list of names, including “Count Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg. German Ambassador to Bucharest and negotiator of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.
They believed that Vera's life was a story that should be told, but they didn't know which way my research would lead. Other members of the Atkins and Rosenberg families have generously given their time, hospitality, and assistance. Ronald Atkins talked engagingly about his aunt and his father, Ralph Atkins. Without Karina and Peter Rosenberg, Hillel Avidan, and Iris Hilke much of Vera's wider family history would have remained hidden. The first idea for a book was taken up by my agent Natasha Fairweather, whose support, advice, and patient encouragement saw the project to fruition.