Q&A at the Spy Museum

jeremy dronfield prof med

There’s a Q&A with A Very Dangerous Woman authors Jeremy Dronfield and Deborah McDonald at the website of the International Spy Museum, Washington DC, plus another book giveaway for US and Canadian members of the Museum.

Deborah McDonald photo for book

Q: What new information does the book reveal?

A: This is the first biography of Moura to make use of the 400 pages of newly declassified British government intelligence documentation about her during three decades (1921 – 1952) which illustrates the extent of her spying activities. We’ve also uncovered a series of interviews conducted with Moura’s friends in the 1980s by the author Andrew Boyle, which he undertook when he was planning to write a biography of Moura.

Putting together information from her government surveillance file and the Boyle interviews, we have discovered that Moura worked as a double agent as early as 1918, spying for Bolshevik Russia and the German-backed aristocratic Ukrainian government during the war between them. New material from Russian sources has also cast new light on the so-called “Lockhart Plot” – the British plan to overthrow Lenin in which Moura was deeply involved. Although she was only 26 years old, she was capable of playing men off against each other for her own ends – elder statesmen, spies, diplomats and hardened agents.

Read the whole Q&A at the International Spy Museum website. Members can enter a draw for a chance of winning one of five copies of A Very Dangerous Woman.

In other news, we have another fantastic review, this time from Russian security expert Mark Galeotti.

… The tale of Baroness Moura Budberg is a splendid one, not least as she herself was such an assiduous mythmaker. What emerges from this entertaining and well-researched book is a picture of a woman at once a big-game hunter of larger-than-life men (her bag included Robert Bruce Lockhart the spy, Maxim Gorky and H. G. Wells the writers, and not one but two Baltic aristocrats) and also a devotee of a high life and a fast reputation.

Read the full review at In Moscow’s Shadows.

website and content © 2015 Jeremy Dronfield and Deborah McDonald