A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

The never-before-told story of one woman's heroism that changed the course of the Second World War

In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her."

This spy was Virginia Hall, a young American woman--rejected from the foreign service because of her gender and her prosthetic leg--who talked her way into the spy organization deemed Churchill's "ministry of ungentlemanly warfare," and, before the United States had even entered the war, became the first woman to deploy to occupied France.

Virginia Hall was one of the greatest spies in American history, yet her story remains untold. Just as she did in Clementine, Sonia Purnell uncovers the captivating story of a powerful, influential, yet shockingly overlooked heroine of the Second World War. At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Virginia Hall came to be known as the "Madonna of the Resistance," coordinating a network of spies to blow up bridges, report on German troop movements, arrange equipment drops for Resistance agents, and recruit and train guerilla fighters. Even as her face covered WANTED posters throughout Europe, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped with her life in a grueling hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown, and her associates all imprisoned or executed. But, adamant that she had "more lives to save," she dove back in as soon as she could, organizing forces to sabotage enemy lines and back up Allied forces landing on Normandy beaches. Told with Purnell's signature insight and novelistic flare, A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

Title:A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780735225299
Format Type:

    A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II Reviews

  • Diane S ?

    I love the fact that in recent years, more and more formidable women are being brought out of shadows of obscurity, by wonderful authors. That their rightful place in history is being applauded and re...

  • Haley

    3.5*The content is 5 stars. This was an absolutely fascinating story, and I would love to go back in time and have dinner with Virginia Hall and just pump her for stories because damn. She would have ...

  • Chrissie

    Virginia Hall (April 6, 1906 – July 8, 1982) was an American spy, working first with the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and then later with the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS...

  • Faith

    I recently read a novel about a couple who had worked with the French Resistance and it made me want to read a nonfiction account. “A Woman of No Importance” gave me more than I had hoped for. I a...

  • Marialyce

    Courage, Bravery, Resilience, thy name is Virginia Hall. I am willing to bet you never heard of this woman as I know with all my time spent in school, that I never did. Yet this woman was responsible ...

  • Kerrin Parris

    I had never heard of Virginia Hall before the release of Sonia Purnell’s biography A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II. Virginia Hall would be ...

  • Laura Noggle

    Excellent story, disappointing delivery.How do you take a spy story of a strong female heroine with a prosthetic leg and wild adventures and make it mundane? You suck all the fun out and make it a dry...

  • Stephanie Crowe

    Purnell has penned another spectacular history of another outstanding woman. I was enamored with the first history of Clementine Churchill. I loved that one!! And this tale of the exploits of Virginia...

  • Katie.dorny

    This is the biography of one of the first women to become a front line secret agent, who left America during the Great Depression, suffered her leg being partially amputated and ended up helping to fo...

  • Jocelyn

    How are we not all aware of this incredible woman?! This needs to be required reading for everyone....