Blending investigative journalism with the personal approach of a writer both fascinated and appalled by her subject, this is an award-winning portrait of life under ‘one of the most savage surveillance regimes ever known’. With previously unpublished photographs by the author.
The Spy’s Bedside Book
Illustrated by Nick Hardcastle
Introduced by Stella Rimington
Preface by Graham Greene
Edited by Graham Greene & Hugh Greene
Graham and Hugh Greene expose the clandestine world of espionage in The Spy’s Bedside Book, illustrated with the meticulous and mysterious drawings of Nick Hardcastle.
Graham Greene worked for MI6 during the Second World War; his brother Hugh was a foreign correspondent and one of the last Allied journalists to leave Berlin in 1939, so they knew the spying game from within. First published in 1957, at the height of the Cold War, the Greene brothers’ thrilling anthology of fiction, memoir and reportage inhabits the shadows of cloak-and-dagger paranoia. East German intelligence, believing they had stumbled upon trade secrets, promptly ordered 100 copies of the book.
Bound in blocked buckram
Set in Goudy
Frontispiece and 42 black & white integrated illustrations
8˝ x 5 ¾˝
A world where fact is stranger than fiction
‘I fear England will be infested with alien agents who have learned their trade from this revealing and mischievous compilation.’
- London Evening News
As Stella Rimington, the first female head of MI5, reminds us in her introduction, nowhere is it harder to distinguish truth from fiction than in espionage. After all, what could be more ludicrous than Sir Robert Baden-Powell capering around the Balkans with a butterfly net, secreting the plans of fortifications in his sketchbook? Yet it happened, along with a host of other real-life exploits of agents, from Major André in the American Revolution, to Mata Hari in the First World War and Walter Schellenberg in the Second. We learn the hazards of spies’ lives and the tricks of their trade: how to hide messages in a hard-boiled egg and why it is wise to add pepper to your vodka when in Russia.
Aside from the incredible true stories, no book of espionage would be complete without such glamorous fictional heroes as Duckworth Drew, Richard Hannay and James Bond. Their impeccable suits, armoured attaché cases and suave countenances, are burned into popular imagination. Drew, trussed and bound in a sealed room with only an exploding oil lamp for company, still finds a way to escape, while Bond unscrews a tube of shaving cream to ‘reveal the silencer for the Beretta’.
A popular classic is back on the bookshelves
Such has been the enduring popularity of this edition that this is our sixth printing, and the incredible tales of daredevil antics, bravado, dexterity and cunning can be enjoyed again by all armchair spies. The Guardian, The Times, Oxford University Press and Penguin are just a few of the titles and publishers for whom the talented Nick Hardcastle has illustrated for, as well as working with Folio on previous editions. His realistic style is highly detailed and his illustrations evoke the dark and daring clandestine world of espionage brilliantly. When it came to commissioning the introduction, we immediately thought of the former Director General of MI5, Stella Rimington, who has the ideal credentials to talk about the extracts and exploits included in this compendium.