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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Ashenden immediately thought of three reasons the detectives might have given
for seeking an interview with him and he wished that he were on terms sufficiently
familiar with them to make the suggestions . This was really an insult to the ...
mentioned not infrequently the fact that her grandfather had been an ambassador
, but never that he had been a stable - boy and Ashenden had learned this
interesting detail from Vienna ; for as he grew friendly with her he had thought it ...
never have sent me here if they ' d thought I wasn ' t going to have the best of
everything . ' In a little while Dr Egon Orth came in and gave Ashenden an
envelope . On it was written Anastasia Alexandrovna ' s address . He introduced
him to Mr ...