Papa Spy: Love, Faith and Betrayal in Wartime Spain by Jimmy Burns

Papa Spy: Love, Faith and Betrayal in Wartime Spain by Jimmy Burns available soon at the fantastic BookLovers of Bath web site!

London, Berlin & New York: Bloomsbury Books, 2009, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Review copy, with slip laid in; Black & White Photographs;

From the cover: In the 1930s Tom Burns was a rising star of British publishing, whose friends and authors included G. K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, the artist Eric Gill and the poet David Jones. And among his glittering social circle he had set his heart on the beautiful Ann Bowes-Lyon, cousin of the Queen.

When war was declared in 1939, Burns joined the Ministry of Information, effectively the propaganda wing of the secret services. Sent to Madrid as press attache at the British Embassy, where the Ambassador was the formidable and very Protestant Sir Samuel Hoare, Burns used his faith and his deep love of Spain in the propaganda war against the Nazis, who at the time had pretty much unrestricted access to the Spanish media. Burns brief was to do all in his power to keep Franco neutral and so protect Gibraltar and access to the western Mediterranean.

The strategy was simple, but the tactics were more complicated, especially when Burns found he had begun to make enemies at home, not least among them Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt, head of the MI6s Iberian section. By 1941 he felt far from the real fighting, Ann had pledged herself to another man, and Burns was spending as much time protecting his back as fighting the Nazis. How he overcame these odds, was involved in the Man Who Never Was decoy plot, arranged Leslie Howards fatal propaganda trip to Portugal and Spain, and finally found true love while loyally serving his country is the story told in this extraordinary book by his son.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Burgundy boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XIX] 395 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I persuade you to have a look at more books hither or maybe further, handpicked, books in my Biography catalogue?

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