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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No one was quite himself just then and patriotism ( in peace - time an attitude
best left to politicians , publicists , and fools , but in the dark days of war an
emotion that can wring the heart - strings ) , patriotism made one do odd things . It
W. Somerset Maugham. Ashenden gave her a little bow and turned to the door .
But she stopped him . ' One little moment , ' she said . “ There is one thing I should
like to ask . I think you have some heart . ' “ Whatever I can do for you , you may ...
Templeton isn ' t the sort of chap to play bumble - puppy bridge with a girl like that
unless he ' s getting something out of it , and she knows a thing or two , I bet . '
Ashenden , who saw most of them , knew them better than any of the others .