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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Whenever Templeton hazarded a remark that was more intimate than the
occasion warranted she countered it with an ironic one that made them all laugh .
But Templeton ' s laugh was rueful . He was no longer content to have her take
him as ...
Ashenden by now was pretty sure that she was just as much in love with
Templeton as he was with her . He had seen the flush that coloured her cheeks
when Templeton came into the diningroom and he had noticed the soft glance
she gave ...
In a few months he could count on being well , but you only had to look at
Templeton to know that he was not going to recover . The death - look was on his
face . ' D ' you know what I ' ve done ? ' asked Templeton . ' I ' ve asked Ivy to
marry me ...