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  • A Woman of No Importance

  • The Untold Story of WWII’s Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall
  • By: Sonia Purnell
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The incredible true and untold story of Virginia Hall, an American woman with a wooden leg who infiltrated Occupied France for the SOE and became the Gestapo's most wanted Allied spy, by acclaimed biographer Sonia Purnell.  

The remarkable double life of an American-turned-British spy, Virginia Hall, a 'bolshie' woman from Maryland who, determined to overcome a physical disability that threatened to define her life, successfully infiltrated Vichy France for England's SOE before America's entry into WWII and then, three years later, for the SOS, providing crucial intelligence and logistics for the mounting French Resistance and, later, Allied troops.  

This is a compelling and inspiring tale of resistance, heroism, spycraft and overcoming prejudice, based on brand-new and extensive research, for anyone who loves reading Ben Macintyre, Rick Stroud's Lonely Courage or Sarah Helm's A Life in Secrets.

©2019 Sonia Purnell (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about A Woman of No Importance

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Incredible but true. Totally enthralling.

Exhaustively researched, engagingly written. Better than the best spy novel because it's true and about an unsung hero, a superwoman who was fearless, clever, and disabled.

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  • andrew james lilley
  • 05-04-2019

Outstanding story of a remarkable woman

One of the most riveting and remarkable stories of courage and ingenuity in the face of incredible adversity. Virginia Hall was a truly astonishing woman whose accomplishments put legions of her contemporary Male collaborators and bosses to shame. She deserves to be celebrated and I volunteer to make a statue to commemorate her.I will ,listen to this book again and again for inspiration. Since writing g the above review I have listened to this twice more.It is an amazing story that is very well written and beautifully read.It is the best audio book in my collection and believe me I have many hundreds.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Ellen
  • 02-04-2019

Wonderful account of an amazing woman

Virginia Hall was an amazing woman, an effective and trailblazing SOE operative. Deapite being ruthlessly hunted by the German authorities continued to evade them all whilst organising effective networks and sabotage raids. Her work in Lyon turned her to the go to problem solver of many allied operatives, often compromising her own safety she helped them in whatever way possible. Often facing discrimination from top brass and resistance operatives on the ground due to being a woman but she was indefatigable. At one point Virginia was forced to escape France via the Pyrenees when the Nazis seized the free zone. This would have been a feat of endurance for anyone let alone someone who had lost one of their legs. As with most true hero’s Virginia was never given the respect or opportunities she deserved and had indeed earned after the war. The book is very well written, much better than other books I have listened to. Highly recommend

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-04-2019

An astonishing, humbling story.

Brilliantly told, brilliantly read. The scale of Virginia Hall’s achievement is remarkable and the book is biography, history and thriller all at once.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Durston
  • 14-08-2019

superb from start to finish .

Will live long in the memory. outstanding. led a life to the full . Thank you.

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  • Mrs M E Burstow
  • 01-07-2019

Put it on the National Curriculum

A disabled woman, who created and lead the Resistance in two regions of France, showing incredible courage and planming skills. A wonderful listen. I had to keep on reminding myself all this was true and not just a story. Virginia Hall truely deserves The Legion of Honour award.

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  • MRS
  • 21-04-2019

A remarkable story.

A remarkable story, a 'must' read executed brilliantly by Juliet Stevenson. Unbelievable but sadly believable.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-2021

Unbelievable

Wow. What an impressive woman! What I really enjoyed was how this book presented a historical account of events without feeling like a textbook. The characters felt alive, and the "plot" was captivating.

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  • joel
  • 05-01-2021

Fact is boulder than fiction and so fascinating

The facts of this incredible story defy belief. The telling retains humanity throughout and holds your interest until the end.

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  • ECK19
  • 12-12-2020

Inspirational story of courage and determination which is deserving of the attention of all

The courage and determination showed by this lady throughout her life is truly inspirational. She fought the Germans and discrimination in equal measure and beat them both. Her story is brilliantly told and expertly narrated and leaves an indelible legacy for all those who make the choice to share it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-09-2020

Excellent in every way .....

I’d never heard of Virginia Hall - what a woman and what an inspiration. Hugely enjoyed the story and narration.

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