Special Event: Virginia Hall, A Woman Of No Importance with Sonia Purnell

WI Member: From £42.00

Non Member: From £47.00

Venue: Not Applicable

Join acclaimed author, journalist and broadcaster, Sonia Purnell, to discuss her new biography of Virginia Hall, A Woman Of No Importance, which is the incredible untold story of a glamorous American woman with a wooden leg who infiltrated wartime France for the SOE and became the Gestapo’s most wanted Allied Spy.

 This is the epic tale of an heiress from Maryland who determined that a hunting accident would not define her existence; a young woman who gambled her life to fight alongside the British for what she believed in; an espionage novice who was one of the first to penetrate Vichy France for the Allies and help fan the flames of French Resistance. In the end, through sheer courage and ingenuity she became one of the Second World War's greatest secret agents.

 Pursued by the Gestapo, the Abwehr and a wicked priest who betrayed her, she escaped over the Pyrenees in winter only to return to the field in disguise to lead a guerrilla campaign against the Nazis around D-Day. Secretly decorated by a British king and an American president, she never talked of her exploits right up to her death in 1982. Her name remains virtually unknown today but now finally Sonia brings this extraordinary and inspiring figure out from the shadows. Based on brand new and extensive research, this is an astounding account of resistance, heroism, spycraft and overcoming prejudice.

Outline of the Event:

2pm – Arrival for tea/ coffee and pastries

2.30pm – Talk and Q&A session

4 pm – Denman Premium cream tea with Prosecco

5.00pm – Departure



Sonia Purnell is an author, journalist and broadcaster known for her investigative skills and lively writing style. Her first book, Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition, was long listed for the Orwell Prize for its insightful and ground breaking portrait of Boris Johnson. Her second book, First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill, tells the astonishing but previously untold story of Clementine Churchill, and has already been widely hailed on both sides of the Atlantic as 'riveting', 'eye-opening' and 'exemplary'. Sonia also writes for a variety of newspapers and is a regular broadcaster in Britain and abroad. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.


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