Island Author Adrian Searle is about to reveal the truth behind one of the strangest stories of espionage to emerge from the Isle of Wight during the Second World War.
In The Spy Beside the Sea – The Extraordinary Wartime Story of Dorothy O’Grady, Adrian examines new evidence to reach a disturbing conclusion, one that solves a unique and enduring puzzle that has intrigued locals and experts for generations.
Dorothy O’Grady is uniquely placed in the annals of espionage. She was the first Briton condemned to death under the Treachery Act of 1940 after she was frequently spotted on the outskirts of Sandown (a prohibited area on the Isle of Wight), insisting time and again that her dog had strayed. Had her appeal not saved her from the gallows, she would have become the only woman to suffer death under the Act during the Second World War. Following her appeal she served nine years in prison for her wartime crimes—but was she really a spy in the employ of Germany? Or was O’Grady, as she insisted years later, a self-seeking tease who committed her apparent treachery ‘for a giggle?’
The full story of her extraordinary brush with notoriety and its enduring legacy has never been told, but with the benefit of access to previously classified documents, author Adrian Searle (pictured) reveals the truth underpinning the O’Grady legend. In The Spy Beside the Sea, the author examines this new evidence to reach a disturbing conclusion, one that solves a unique and enduring puzzle that has intrigued locals and experts for generations.
· The first book to present new and previously unseen evidence in the O’Grady story.
· The O’Grady legacy has dominated the front pages of the British Press and inspired both a BBC radio drama and a novel.
· Looks in detail at an extraordinary chapter in the history of the Isle of Wight.
· Includes 32 black and white photographs from the area and of O’Grady throughout her life.
Adrian Searle has been a journalist since 1967. his current work, in addition to researching and writing books on historical subjects, is divided between journalism (contributing articles to several magazines and national and provincial newspapers), manuscript services) advisory, editing & proof-reading) and public relations.
The Spy Beside the Sea – The Extraordinary Wartime Story of Dorothy O’Grady To be published 7th June 2012 £12.99 Paperback, £8.92 eBook 978-0-7524-7963-7
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