I Was a Spy (1933)


First Edition of this Thrilling Memoir of a Woman Spy During World War I,
With a Foreword by Winston Churchill

McKenna, Martha. I Was a Spy! New York: Robert M. McBride, 1933.

Octavo. Hardcover. 1st Edition.

First edition, first printing, of this fascinating memoir by a Belgian woman who worked as a spy for the Allies during World War I, with a foreword by Winston Churchill stating that the book was so thrilling that he "could not put out [his] light till 4 o'clock in the morning," in the original dust jacket. "As a nurse in a German military hospital in occupied Belgium during World War I, Martha McKenna spent her days saving the lives of German soldiers. All the while, she secretly helped the British plot attacks against them" (New York Times). While the memoir is believed to incorporate some of the experiences of McKenna's aunt, no one has been able to definitively state how true the memoir is--including the Imperial War Museum. McKenna's story remains compelling regardless. Winston Churchill--who was unclear as to whether there was embellishment in the memoir--nevertheless found it evocative and thrilling, happily writing the foreword for the 1933 first edition.    Book with interior quite nice and a bit of staining to base of spine. Rare dust jacket with a few scrapes to cloth and shallow chipping to extremities mildly affecting spine title and publisher's name. A most desirable copy.