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    Senior Member Country: England mrs_emma_peel's Avatar
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    Secret War:
    Christine Granville: Polish Spy

    Christine Granville: SOE Heroine
    Yesterday ... 29th November, 2011 ... 6.00-7.00pm/10.00-11.00pm/1.00-2.00am

    This is an outstanding and absolutely compelling documentary charting little known story of an enchanting, enigmatic beauty, the Polish-born British SOE agent, Christine Granville.

    Christine gathered vital information with the French Resistance, had an incredible confrontation with the Gestapo, she was Churchill’s favourite spy, had a direct connection with Ian Fleming's James Bond book Casino Royale and died a terrible, tragic and shocking death aged just 44.

    According to Henry Chancellor in 'James Bond: the Man and His World', Christine Granville was known as 'Vesperale' and was the source and inspiration of Fleming’s fictional character of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. Christine may have also been the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s character of the beautiful Russian cryptographer Tatiana Romanova in From Russia With Love and because Christine was a real-life Countess she may have been the inspiration for one of Ian Fleming's most famous female heroine characters' ... the beautiful and enchanting, athletic and courageous Countess ...
    Contessa Teresa (Tracy) di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

    Granville was one of Britain's longest-serving women agents during the war and helped organize a Polish courier network to bring intelligence reports from Warsaw to Budapest. However, she was forced to flee after escaping Gestapo arrest in 1941, only to arrive in Egypt and find herself under suspicion by the British. After eventually clearing her name she was offered to the SOE in France, due to her perfect command of French, operating under the name 'Christine Granville'.

    In a chilling confrontation with the Gestapo ... Christine was arrested for interrogation and certain torture ... Christine brilliantly and ingeniously escaped interrogation by biting down into her own tongue/lip powerfully … her tongue/lip bled profusely … she feigned coughing blood and simultaneously collapsed so convincingly her Gestapo interrogators believed that she really extremely ill and most reluctantly allowed her medical treatment.

    On her trip into Poland, Christine was stopped by German soldiers. She reportedly pulled the pins out of two live grenades and told the soldiers that if they attempted to take her prisoner, she would drop the grenades, killing all of them. The soldiers allowed her to retreat to safety.

    Re-edited extracts from The Times 2006/Daily Mail 2009/Wikipedia …
    Christine, the spy who loved Ian Fleming, gets her own movie

    The story of beautiful wartime spy, Special Operations Executive SOE Agent, Christine Granville, GM, OBE and Croix de Guerre, was said to be Churchill’s favourite spy, and who was Ian Fleming's lover and the inspiration for the James Bond character Vesper Lynd ...

    The incredible life, courageous SOE work and brutal murder of Christine Granville was due to made into a major feature film starring appropriately the beautiful Eva Green (who played Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale - 2006) in Christine: War My Love … however this was back in 2009 … so unfortunately it looks as though the film is still at the pre-production stage.

    Hopefully this is only temporary and this sensational story will eventually be made into a feature film ... where we will see the life and death of the real-life Vesper Lynd. Christine’s incredible story is absolutely fascinating ... yet still little-known. This excellent Yesterday docu-drama is the first documentary I’ve seen that charts the virtually unknown tale of Christine’s extraordinary life ... and even shows pictures of her terrible death at the crime-scene of her murder.

    French actress Eva Green who won high acclaim for her multi-dimensional portrayal of sultry femme fatale Vesper Lynd in the 2006 film of Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale has been named as the possible actress to play Vesper's real life counterpart Christine Granville. But was the exotic femme fatale Vesper Lynd just a product of Ian Fleming’s imagination?

    As a noted womaniser who had worked in Naval Intelligence during the Second World War, Fleming had plenty of personal experiences upon which to draw. He also enjoyed a cocktail called the Vesper. But more importantly, in the years immediately before writing his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, he had been regularly seeing a woman named Christine Granville.

    She was really the Countess Krystyna Skarbek. When she was born, half-Jewish, in Warsaw on a stormy night, her father, an impoverished count, gave her the pet name 'Vesp�rale' ...

    Her courageous actions, including a treacherous crossing into her native Poland from Hungary with the help of an Olympic skiing champion, helped saved countless lives.

    After the war, she drifted into a series of affairs ... including one with Fleming ... before enrolling as a stewardess on a cruise ship where she met the man who was to murder her in 1952.

    Krystyna was almost certainly the most remarkable female spy of the Second World War. She was intelligent, courageous, seductive and bewitchingly attractive and men were willing to sacrifice everything for her and go to any lengths to have and keep her. She was an extraordinary beautifully athletic British SOE spy ... like Mrs Emma Peel or a female James Bond ... an accomplished expert in skiing, judo and karate, a multi-linguist, a cryptographer ... Skarbek’s cloak-and-dagger exploits saw daring raids into occupied Poland, with forays into Egypt and Syria. Parachuted into occupied France in 1944, she took on the persona 'Pauline Armand' to rally the Resistance.

    After the war, Skarbek apparently found it difficult to settle. She took a job as a stewardess on a liner between Southampton and Australia, where she befriended the man who would later kill her.

    James Bond casting director Debbie McWilliams, who chose Eva Green to play Vesper, said this is an absolutely wonderful story.

    The real-life Christine Granville …

    Eva Green ... who may be cast as Christine Granville ...

    Re-edited extracts of Christine Granville online biographies ...
    Christine has been suggested as the inspiration for the Vesper Lynd character in Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale, published in 1953. In his book 17F: The Life of Ian Fleming, McCormick stated that Fleming and Christine met at Bertorelli’s restaurant in London's Charlotte Street for a meal and drinks, and quoted from a letter that Fleming supposedly wrote to Howe afterwards, which included the lines: 'I see exactly what you mean about Christine, she literally shines with all the qualities and splendours of a fictitious character. How rarely one finds such types.'

    The famous 'Vesper' Martini cocktail drink recipe as described in the Casino Royale book of 1953 is:
    Three measures of Gordon's ... one of vodka ... half a measure of Kina Lillet ... shake it very well until it's ice-cold ... then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel.

    The 'Vesper' Martini cocktail drink recipe as described in the Casino Royale film of 2006 is:
    Three measures of Gordon's ... one of vodka ... half a measure of Kina Lillet ... shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.

    In a revised edition of her biography of Christine, Madeleine Masson noted that as a girl Christine’s father used to call her 'Vesperale', but the source of this claim may well have been McCormick, who also claimed that Fleming carried on a discreet, year-long affair with her. It’s easy to see how Christine's hypnotic charm and spirit of adventure would have spurred any novelist’s imagination …

    After the war ... determined to travel ... Christine took a job as a stewardess on the New Zealand cruise liner MV Ruahine in May 1951 and joined its maiden voyage from Southampton to Wellington. One of the staff rules demanded that staff wear their war-time decorations, which made Christine an object of curiosity and caused a certain amount of jealousy, but one crew member was willing to stand by her.

    A 43 year-old Irish loner, Dennis Muldowney had joined the Merchant Navy in 1948 after his wife had divorced him on the grounds of cruelty. Christine felt compelled to return his apparent kindness, but it soon became clear that Muldowney wanted to be at the centre of her life, whatever the cost. Muldowney regarded Christine as his own beautiful fantasy heroine.

    Christine would always stay in hotels to avoid housework and cooking ... however she found life onboard ship especially difficult ... Muldowney’s infatuation with her became obsessive ... she tried her best to put some distance between them.

    By April 1952 Muldowney was obsessively stalking Christine ... he followed her to the Shelbourne Hotel in Kensington, London ... his infatuation with Christine was now, unknown to her, at a critically dangerous level. He acquired job as a porter at the Reform Club, just a short ride from her hotel.

    Christine planned to escape Muldowney’s attentions by flying to Belgium on Monday 16th June ... it would give her a break before her next hostess job and hopefully and finally shake him off.

    On the warm summer's evening of Sunday, 15th June 1952 she returned to her hotel after meeting friends ... moments later her constant shadow and stalker followed her discreetly through the front door and up to the landing to Christine’s hotel room door ...

    Under normal circumstances, this beautiful SOE British spy with her knowledge of judo/karate and self-defence ... could have easily over-powered him ... one of the hotel staff witnesses said Christine had tried to be pleasant … she smiled and started a pleasant yet firm conversation ... She may have sensed danger ... but she never expected what Muldowney had prepared for her ...

    Without any warning, Muldowney suddenly produced a long sheath knife, lunged at her before she could defend herself and stabbed her ferociously, full and deep in her chest - penetrating her heart. She screamed and collapsed in excruciating pain. Hotel staff immediately over-powered him ... but seconds later Christine, SOE heroine, was dead ... survivor of the Gestapo and SS ... she was ruthlessly murdered by an infatuated fanatic to whom she had showed kindness.

    The medical report written before Muldowney’s trial concluded that he was a fantasist but showed no signs of serious mental disturbance, and he refused any defence at the Old Bailey on 11th September. In a rambling and unrepentant final letter to his family he elevated his relationship with Christine to that of Antony and Cleopatra, but still cruelly and callously asserted that ...
    she had 'asked for what she got … to kill is the final possession ...'
    He was hanged at Pentonville prison on 30th September 1952.

    The Times ... Trial Report ...
    Mr. Ian Smith, for the prosecution, said that ...
    in a written statement at Kensington police station, Muldowney ... describes how he waited for Christine outside her hotel and saw her go in. He went in after her and asked her for some letters he had exchanged with her. She said she had burned them. He did not believe her, and then says:
    'She told me she did not want anything to do with me and was off to the Continent and would see me in two years’ time ...'
    'Then I took the knife from the sheath which I had in my hip pocket and stabbed her in the chest ...
    it was a deep stab wound ... right up to the hilt of the knife ... it penetrated her heart ...'

    Krystyna Skarbek/Christine Granville was interred in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery at Kensal Green, in north-west London.

    Christine Granville, GM, OBE and Croix de Guerre … a true heroine who died too young.
    1st May 1908 -15th June 1952

    Sources: Christine: SOE Agent and Churchill’s Favourite Spy – A Search For Christine Granville by MadeleineMasson/ - Famous Polish Spies/Wikipedia/The Times 2006/Daily Mail 2009/Nigel Perrin/Bond Lifestyle/ExecutionTodayArchive/The Times Court Report 1952
    Last edited by mrs_emma_peel; 28-11-11 at 10:10 PM.

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