This fascinating book contains probably the most expert stories of espionage ever written. For a period of time after it was first published, the book became official required reading for persons entering the British Secret Service.
During World War I, Maugham enlisted with an ambulance unit, but was soon shifted to the Intelligence Department. Although these stories were based on the author's own experiences as a British agent during the war, he emphasized that they were written purely as entertainment, at which, indeed, Ashenden succeeds. Maugham's clarity of style, the perfection of his form, the subtlety of his thought, veiled thinly behind a worldly cynicism, has made him an international figure.
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It was a small German hotel , of the second class , spotlessly clean , and his
bedroom had a nice view ; it was furnished with brightly varnished pitch - pine ,
and though on a cold wet day it would have been wretched , in that warm and
He would learn that all Germans are not the devilish fiends that they think them in
England . ' On Mrs Caypor ' s ... It behoved him to be frank , a trifle indiscreet , but
obviously wary of a German woman , sufficiently intelligent , and impulsive .
Her patriotism was aggressive , but disinterested , and obsessed with the notion
of the superiority of all things German she loathed England with a virulent hatred
because in that country she saw the chief obstacle to their diffusion . Her ideal ...