Marks, Leo - Between Silk and Cyanide - ( Item 136436 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2013. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Good slipcase. Heavy wear and a tear to the bottom of one side of the slipcase entrance. Introduced by Simon Mawer. Bound in cloth with silk panel on front board. Set in Garamond. 600 pages. 24 pages of colour and black & white plates. Book size: 10" x 6¼". Unpublished until 1998 because of the Official Secrets Act, Leo Marks's memoir of his time as part of SOE has been acclaimed as one of the greatest accounts of espionage in the Second World War. An unforgettable story of heroism under fire, gallows humour, unswerving loyalty and fatal mistakes. In 1942, having failed the entrance exam for Bletchley Park, 22-year-old Leo Marks was despatched to what he heard described as 'some potty outfit in Baker Street'. This was the code-breaking unit of the Special Operatives Executive (SOE), where Marks would enter the code war along with some of the foremost Allied secret agents. Unpublished until 1998 because of the Official Secrets Act, his memoir has been acclaimed as one of the greatest accounts of espionage in the Second World War. This is an unforgettable story of heroism under fire, gallows humour, unswerving loyalty and fatal mistakes. Marks writes frankly of the in-fighting between the Free French and SOE, and of his terrible discovery that the Nazis had taken over the Dutch secret agents' codes. For years SOE relied on codes based on poems, which were all too easy to crack if you knew the originals. Marks's attempts to change the system were rebuffed at first, so he wrote his own verse. Eventually he persuaded SOE to adopt one-off ciphers printed on silk that could be easily destroyed, or hidden in the lining of clothing; cyanide was provided in case the ruse failed. These innovations were later said to have hastened the Allied victory by three months. This edition features a striking binding with a silk panel on the front board. Marks’s poem ‘The life that I have’, which he gave as a code to the SOE agent Violette Szabo, is blocked onto the silk, and the coloured endpapers reproduce an original coding. Sections of illustrations include portraits of agents such as Marks’s friend ‘Tommy’ Yeo-Thomas, the ‘White Rabbit’, taken just eight hours before he parachuted into France, and pictures of operation sites such as the Norsk Hydro. Simon Mawer is the author of a much-praised novel about SOE, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (published as Trapeze in the U.S.). In his introduction, he rightly says that though much has been written about the SOE, 'there is nothing like Between Silk and Cyanide.'
Price £ 27.80 (inc UK postage) Other items you may like Others by the same author
To buy this item online using any major credit or debit card or Paypal, click the appropriate delivery option below to add the item to your basket, depending on where you are in the world. Alternatively please contact us at RNewbury@ardis.co.uk for further information or to order with payment by direct bank transfer or cheque if you are in the UK.
Safe and Secure Online Buying
To buy online, please click the appropriate postage option in the item boxes above. You will be transferred to secure pages hosted by Paypal, the largest online transaction processor in the world. You can pay with any major credit or debit card or by Paypal. When ordering multiple items in the UK, you may be entitled to a postage discount. This will be refunded when your order is received. If you prefer to pay by cheque, or would like a quotation for buying multiple items, please email us at email@example.com with the unique item numbers required.
Money Back Guarantee, Secure Packaging and Fast Response
We are a major online trader with excellent feedback from satisfied customers on Amazon and Ebay (over 25,000 customers). We will refund your costs for items returned within seven days for any reason. If we are at fault we will also refund your return postage. Items are sent in top grade book boxes for protection. Large items or multiple purchases may be boxed. Items will be despatched within a day of receipt of your order, usually on the same day if ordered before noon.