In the 1930s Tom Burns was a rising star of British publishing, whose friends and authors included G. K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, the artist Eric Gill and the poet David Jones. And among his glittering social circle he had set his heart on the beautiful Ann Bowes-Lyon, cousin of the Queen. When war was declared in 1939, Burns joined the Ministry of Information, effectively the propaganda wing of the secret services. Sent to Madrid as press attached at the British Embassy, where the Ambassador was the formidable and very Protestant Sir Samuel Hoare, Burns used his faith and his deep love of Spain in the propaganda war against the Nazis, who at the time had pretty much unrestricted access to the Spanish media. Burns' brief was to do all in his power to keep Franco neutral and so protect Gibraltar and access to the western Mediterranean. The strategy was simple, but the tactics were more complicated, especially when Burns found he had begun to make enemies at home, not least among them Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt, head of the MI6's Iberian section.
For fans of Ben Macintyre's Agent Zigzag and the novels of John le Carre Provides fascinating insights into the deadly work of Kim Philby Illustrated with a wealth of contemporary photographs that bring the period and events to life
'A great story, with drama, betrayal and historical significance' Independent 'Frank and revealing ... a world of intrigue and betrayal ... A son's search for who his father really was. ****' Phillip Knightley, Daily Telegraph 'Jimmy Burns's lively biography of his father is more than an act of filial piety ... the murky world of intelligence, counter-intelligence, deception and double agents, provide a series of real James Bonds' Raymond Carr, Spectator Books of the Year 'A thrilling book, written with passion and precision' Javier Cercas, author of Soldiers of Salamis
Jimmy Burns is an author and journalist. Among his previous books are The Land That Lost Its Heroes (Somerset Maugham non-fiction prize, 1987), Hand of God: The Life of Diego Maradona and Barca: A People's Passion. He lives in London.