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Category: History Individual Organisations
A History of the British Secret Service by Richard Deacon
London: Frederick Muller Limited, 1978
Hardback with Dust Jacket over Blue boards with Gilt titling to Spine
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs;
From the cover: A History of the British Secret Service traces the development and organisation of Intelligence and counter-espionage services in the United Kingdom from the reign of Henry VII to the present day.
Citing documentary evidence to illustrate the spy-masters he portrays, Richard Deacon relates many exciting stories of individual enterprise and ingenuity, from the role of roving agent played by Daniel Defoe to that of Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams who persuaded the Grand Duchess Catherine, future Empress of Russia, to sit up all night translating a despatch from Constantinople he had intercepted. We read of Sir Francis Walsingham bankrupting himself by providing funds for espionage out of his own pocket, Cromwell providing his spy-chief with £70,000 annually, Charles II including payments from Secret Service Funds to the royal mistresses and the Parnell Letter case.
The Intelligence systems drastic overhaul after the incompetency revealed in the Crimean War, the creation of military and naval Intelligence departments in the latter part of the last century, the birth of M. I. 5, the sensational coups achieved in both World Wars and how the British and Soviet networks have infiltrated each other are all covered in this comprehensive survey of the role of the British Secret Service down the ages. It is also an objective assessment and Richard Deacon is often critical of the manner in which both the espionage and counter-espionage services have been conducted in modern times.
More great books like this at BookLovers of Bath: intelligence service history britain century operations