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Nigel Jones rss

JonesWD

From slaves' rectums to porn vids, there are few places people haven't tried to conceal secret messages

19 July 2014
Prisoners, Lovers and Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al-Qa’eda Kristie Macrakis

Yale University Press, pp.377, £18.99, ISBN: 9780300179255

John Gerard, a Jesuit priest immured in the Tower of London in 1597, and tortured by being hung from manacles until he temporarily lost the use of his arms, was… Read more

A document relating to the double-agent Garbo - whose messages helped to deceive the Germans about the location and timing of the D-Day landings Photo: PA Images

The one-man spy factory who changed history

5 April 2014
The Spy with 29 Names: The Story of the Second World War’s Most Audacious Double Agent Jason Webster

Chatto, pp.322, £16.99, ISBN: 9780701187743

With two new biographies of Kim Philby out, an espionage drama by Sir David Hare on BBC2, and the recent revelation that the aristocrat superspy John Bingham was the model… Read more

Two angry old men

1 December 2012
The Odd Couple: The Curious Friendship Between Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin Richard Bradford

The Robson Press/ Biteback, pp.373, £20, ISBN: 9781849543750

Though lasting literary friendships between natural rivals are not rare — Byron and Shelley, Coleridge and Wordsworth and Edward Thomas and Robert Frost spring to mind — few have been… Read more