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 is useless for me to stay . I can be rung up if there is any change . ' Ashenden ,
knowing that Miss King ... There ' s no use in your staying up , ' Ashenden said to
her . ' Why don ' t you go to bed ? ' ' Monsieur wouldn ' t like to remain here ...
But if I stay here much longer I have half a mind to write a book about the wild
flowers of Switzerland . Oh , I wish you ' d been here a little earlier . They were
marvellous . But one wants to be a poet for that , and I ' m only a poor newspaper
He had wanted her to press him to stay , but , it was plain , she hadn ' t done that ;
perhaps he had not dared tell her how frightened he was ; to her he had always
been gay , bold , adventurous , and devil - maycare ; and now , the prisoner of ...