Read A Secret Well Kept: An Account of the Work of Sir Vernon Kell, Founder of MI5 Online Free - The United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency, most commonly know as MI5, was founded in 1909 by Sir Vernon Kell KBE. Kell ('K' within the agency) not only founded MI5 but was also its Director for 31 years, the longest tenure of any head of a British government department during the twentieth century. Kell was also fluent in six foreign languages, making him arguably the most gifted linguist ever to head a Western intelligence agency. A Secret Well Kept was written by Kell's wife, Lady Constance Kell, in the late 1940s. It is an unparalleled insight into the personal life of an extremely powerful and important man, from the one person with whom he was most intimate. Nearly half of A Secret Well Kept is devoted to Kell's life before MI5 and about half of the section on Kell's life from 1909-1940 covers his personal life outside MI5. We also learn about the key characters and events during Kell's career with MI5 - particularly the key people he worked with and the big spy cases from 1909-1918. While there have been numerous studies and histories of the work of MI5 already published, there have been none of such an intimate nature as this and the primary value of A Secret Well Kept is that we learn a great deal about the background, talents and character of the man who founded MI5 and directed it for over 30 years.
|Title||:||A Secret Well Kept: An Account of the Work of Sir Vernon Kell, Founder of MI5|
|Number of Pages||:||208 pages|
May 22, 2017
I think, the title is a little misleading. What this is, in fact, is a quite acceptable memoir of a life shared between two people which is told in the first person narrative by Lady Kell. The story is interspersed with anecdotes of her husband's career and then his work in the creation and estab...
July 09, 2017
This was more the memoir of the wife of the man who started MI5, rather than the story about him and what he did, but it was still a very good book. The life of adventure that they had! Also, BOY could they turn a phrase back then! The writing was beautiful and evocative, descriptive, but not bor...
March 24, 2017
Book received from NetGalley.
This book was written by the wife of Sir Vernon Kell who founded MI5. I really enjoyed reading about how MI5 came about and its function in both The Great War and the beginning of WWII. Its small start as a seemingly unimportant part of the War department made me wond...
August 20, 2017
Thank you to the publishers for providing an ARC of the book through NetGalley.
Rather than being a biography of Vernon Kell, as I was expecting, this was rather a memoir between Vernon Kell and his wife. It mostly consisted of anecdotes and it didn't particularly hold my attention. The introducti...
November 20, 2017
I think everyone feels the same way----this is more the story of the wife than her husband. There aren't really any great spy stories-it's more like details about when they took the boat overseas and her life (he was always away on assignment) there waiting for him. The intro, written by the gran...
December 19, 2017
I think I would have found this book much more interesting if it had endeavoured from the outset to tell the story of Lady Kell, rather than setting up the expectation that it would tell the story of Sir Vernon Kell. That said, I wasn't disappointed. The story of Lady Constance Kell was, I found,...
October 14, 2017
You may, as I was, be drawn to this memoir in the belief that you will be privy to an insider's view of MI5 and British espionage. Instead, it's more of a look at the life and marriage of Lady Kell with a bit of spy pepper thrown in here and there. It's good, but not really what I was looking for...
November 03, 2017
Very intriguing read and interesting subject, although it seems to focus more on the couple than I was expecting. Still, a very good read, especially for those readers who love history, biographies, and real adventure/spy stories.
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