A Woman of no Importance by Sonia Purnell is the untold story of WWII’s most dangerous spy, Virginia Hall.
This is a brilliant and well-researched new biography. Virginia Hall was a Baltimore heiress whose family family fortune was lost in the Great Depression. Virginia went from being destined for a life in high society with servants, parties and not too many worries. However Virginia moved to Europe where she lost her leg in a hunting accident.
Soon after the Nazis invaded France. Virginia, though she was disabled, managed to talk her way into the Special Operations Executive (SOE). She became a ‘one-legged guerilla leader’ which was remarkable. She worked undercover whilst developing a web of useful contacts.
There are so many incredible stories included in this book that you wonder why she is so unknown. Maybe because she never had a lover because she was worried that she might reveal secrets during intimate moments. Or perhaps she just preferred anonymity as that was how she lived her war years as a spy.
She managed to get 12 British spies out of the assumed impregnable Mauriac prison in South of France. The fact that, even with her wooden leg, she travelled on public transport and despite it she blew up trains and tunnels.
In 1942, the Gestapo would stop at nothing to track down a mysterious ‘limping lady’ who was fighting for the freedom of France. The Nazi chiefs issued a simple but urgent command: ‘She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.’
The Gestapo’s target was Virginia Hall, a glamorous American with a wooden leg who broke through the barriers against her gender and disability to be the first woman to infiltrate Vichy France for the SOE. In so doing she helped turn the course of the intelligence war.
There are so many reasons that this woman, Virginia Hall, is remarkable and inspiring. Read this book as I can promise that you will be gripped throughout. They don’t make them like her anymore!
To purchase from Amazon click HERE.