Author(s): Bingham, Charlotte,
Date of Publication: 07/02/2019,
Pagination: 256 pages,
Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC,
Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC,
Book Classification: Memoirs, Espionage & secret services
'A Jilly Cooper heroine in a John le Carre world' (Libby Purves, TLS); a beguiling comic memoir about a young woman who discovers her father is a spy (and was the model for John le Carre's George Smiley) and goes to work as a secretary in 1950s MI5.
Much to her surprise, eighteen-year-old Lottie has just found out that her aloof, rather unexciting father is a spy. And now he's decreed that she must make herself useful and get a Proper Job - so she's packed off to MI5 herself, trussed up in a dreary suit. Luckily her delightful colleague Arabella is on hand to enliven the torments of typing and decode the enigmas of office life.
But as Lottie's home fills with actors doubling as spies, and Arabella's mother is besieged with mysterious telephone calls, the girls start to feel well and truly spooked... A hilarious true story, and a unique window into 1950s Britain - where Russian agents infiltrate the highest echelons, where debutantes are typists and where Englishness is both a nationality and a code of behaviour - MI5 and Me is a sparkling comic memoir.