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 wondered where she came from ; an exile from her own country for so
long , she must possess in it neither family nor friends : he knew that her senti .
ments were anti - English and if she had answered him so rudely he surmised
He wondered if it was one of the waiters in the hotel . He knew that R . had a
great belief in waiters ; they had the chance of seeing so much and could so ...
He even wondered whether R . had got his news from the Baroness 83 GIULIA
Ashenden wondered whether Caypor had felt a qualm when he delivered him up
to destruction . ' I suppose you know a little German ? ' asked Caypor , interested
in the stranger . ' Oh , yes , I was a student in Germany , and I used to talk it ...