Three authors have emerged, lately, as former spies. Noel Coward was an informant, sent by the British across Europe, and returning to report what was being said about the Nazis. As a society star, he was well-placed to gossip. After 1939, he became a fully-trained member of the secret service, along with Ian Fleming.
The third author is a surprise to me: Peter Matthiessen, author of At Play in the Fields of the Lord (a novel I loved). For two years, he worked for the CIA. His cover? Being co-founder and editor of The Paris Review. The prestigious literary magazine was founded in 1953, well past WWII, so what motivated him?
Image from BibliOdyessy.
Gunter Grass was recently revealed to have been a member of the Waffen-SS.
You’re right, Melissa — it’s rich with novel potential … or a film script? I think a movie about Noel Coward/spy would be delightful. He was a good spy in part because nobody took him seriously.
Now you’ve gone and given me an idea for a novel!
I love espionage – always have, and I don’t really know why. Maybe it was watching all the James Bond movies with my dad when I was a kid. :-)