The astonishing true story of a young woman's adventures, and misadventures, in the dangerous world of Nazi-occupied France.
For Priscilla, pre-war Paris was an exciting carousel of suitors, soirées and heartbreak, and eventually a lavish wedding to a French aristocrat.
But the arrival of the Nazi tanks signalled the end of life as a Vicomtesse, and the beginning of a precarious existence under German Occupation.
Over half a century later, her nephew, Nicholas Shakespeare, found a box of Priscilla's notebooks and journals. He began investigating the rumours that she had escaped a prisoner-of-war camp and fought for the Resistance - and he finally unearthed the truth behind suspicions of disreputable love affairs and far darker secrets.
A pin-sharp biography which unfurls like gripping fiction… wonderful, haunting, thought-provoking
I have not read a better portrait of the moral impossibility of that time and place for people, like Priscilla, who found themselves trapped in it... A wonderful book
As Shakespeare acknowledges, his aunt’s is one of millions of wartime stories. But thanks to the extensive paperwork, and his energetic digging, he creates a detailed and vivid narrative. This is a moving, and constantly surprising story
So gripping it reads like a novel
This mysterious story of the Occupation in France has all the qualities of a fascinating novel, with exquisite social, sexual and moral nuance