The Secret Lives Of A Secret Agent: The Mysterious Life and Times of Alexander Wilson

Crook, Timothy. 2010. The Secret Lives Of A Secret Agent: The Mysterious Life and Times of Alexander Wilson. Essex, England: Kultura Press. ISBN 978-0-954-28998-0 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Alexander Wilson was a major spy fiction writer of the 1920s and 1930s but disappeared and published nothing more after 1940. His 9-year-old son was told he had been killed at El Alamein in 1942. More than 60 years later that young boy, Mike Shannon, asks Goldsmiths academic Tim Crook to find out more.

This unique investigation into the life of a secret agent and writer of espionage reveals a significant author ‘lost to history’ and whose intelligence legend masked a double life more dramatic, complex, romantic and tragic than any character or plot conjured by the world of spy fiction.

The book analyses the rituals of espionage, the ethics of intelligence work, and its relationship with popular spy fiction in the 20th century. It assesses the cultural capital of fictional and journalistic representations of intelligence operations, and constitutes an original body of research in studying a significant and important 'literary spy' overlooked and hitherto not recognised by previous and existing academic criticism of the subject

Item Type:


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


10 October 2010

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Date Deposited:

01 Nov 2010 11:54

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 13:51


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