Carole Seymour-Jones - She Landed By Moonlight - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback £20.00
    More information
    • ISBN:9781444724608
    • Publication date:04 Jul 2013
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781444724639
    • Publication date:04 Jul 2013

She Landed By Moonlight

The Story of Secret Agent Pearl Witherington: the 'real Charlotte Gray'

By Carole Seymour-Jones

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

The gripping account of World War Two's legendary heroine, who risked her life to save her country and her lover.

On the night of the 22 September 1943 Pearl Witherington, a twenty-nine-year-old British secretary and agent of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), was parachuted from a Halifax bomber into Occupied France. Like Sebastian Faulks' heroine, Charlotte Gray, Pearl had a dual mission: to fight for her beloved, broken France and to find her lost love. Pearl's lover was a Parisian parfumier turned soldier, Henri Cornioley, who had been taken prisoner while serving in the French Logistics Corps and subsequently escaped from his German POW camp.

Agent Pearl Witherington's wartime record is unique and heroic. As the only woman agent in the history of SOEs in France to have run a network, she became a fearless and legendary guerrilla leader organising, arming and training 3,800 Resistance fighters. Probably the greatest female organiser of armed maquisards in France, the woman whom her young troops called 'Ma Mère', Pearl lit the fires of Resistance in Central France so that Churchill's famous order to 'set Europe ablaze', which had brought SOE into being, finally came to pass.

Pearl's story takes us from her harsh, impoverished childhood in Paris, to the lonely forests and farmhouses of the Loir-et-Cher where she would become a true 'warrior queen'.

Shortly before Pearl's death in 2008, the Queen presented her with a CBE in Paris. While male agents and Special Force Jedburghs received the DSO or Military Cross, an ungrateful country had forgotten Pearl. She had been offered a civilian decoration in 1945 which she refused, saying 'There was nothing civil about what I did.' But what pleased her most was to receive her Parachute Wings, for which she had waited over 60 years. Two RAF officers travelled to her old people's home and she was finally able to pin the coveted wings on her lapel. Pearl died in February 2008 aged 93.

Biographical Notes

Carole Seymour-Jones was born in Wales. She was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize for her biography of Vivienne Eliot, first wife of TS Eliot. Her most recent biography of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, A Dangerous Liaison, received widespread acclaim. Carole is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey, and former Deputy President and chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of English PEN, the writers' charity.

She has three children and lives with her husband in London and Surrey.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781444724622
  • Publication date: 30 Jan 2014
  • Page count: 432
  • Imprint: Hodder Paperbacks
The truth is that Sebastian Faulk's novel...stands on its own, but so does She Landed by Moonlight, the long-awaited biography that Agent Pearl deserves. — The Times
Dialogue is recreated, scenes are set and we are given a character's thoughts, feelings and reactions. Pearl's story [is] so well-documented and her exploits so extraordinary. — Independent Book of the Week
Quietly moving... Carol Seymour-Jones has done an excellent job in bringing Witherington's courage, commitment and ability to light, sensibly focusing on her war years when she lived to her full potential. — Spectator
It took until 2004 - four years before her death - for her own country to belatedly present her with a CBE. As this biography makes clear, the brave and wholly admirable Pearl Witherington deserved much, much better. — Sunday Times
Carole Seymour-Jones does full justice to a truly remarkable and little-known woman. — Country Life
This biography successfully establishes her in the pantheon of the very bravest and best, up there with such legendary figures as Violette Szabo, Andree Borrel, Madeline Damerment and Nancy Wake. — Sebastian Faulks, Mail on Sunday
Thoroughly researched and perceptive — The Lady
'A gripping tale. A story of narrow escapes, lost and betrayed comrades and incessant danger.' — Literary Review

Anne Boston

Anne Boston has written and edited for various publications including Nova, Cosmopolitan, Sunday Times, New Society and Country Living. Her anthology Wave Me Goodbye: Stories of the Second World War was published in 1988.

Brent Schlender

Brent Schlender, 58 years old, is one of the 'graybeards' of Silicon Valley journalism, having covered the digital revolution almost since it's inception, including 10 years at The Wall Street Journal, and two decades as FORTUNE's lead technology writer. He has won numerous writing awards, and in 2010 was named a 'Silicon Valley Visionary' by SD Forum, the software industry's international trade association.Rick Tetzeli is executive editor of Fast Company. He was Managing Editor of Entertainment Weekly, and Deputy Editor of Fortune. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Mari, and their three children.

Carole Seymour-Jones

Carole Seymour-Jones was born in Wales. She was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize for her biography of Vivienne Eliot, first wife of TS Eliot. Her most recent biography of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, A Dangerous Liaison, received widespread acclaim. Carole is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey, and former Deputy President and chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of English PEN, the writers' charity.

Deborah Devonshire

The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire was brought up in Oxfordshire. In 1950 her husband Andrew, the 11th Duke of Devonshire, inherited estates in Yorkshire and Ireland, as well as Chatsworth, the family seat in Derbyshire, and Deborah became chatelaine and housekeeper of one of England's greatest and best-loved houses. Following her husband's death in 2004, she moved to a village on the Chatsworth estate. She died in 2014.

Dermot O'Leary

Dermot O'Leary has been the much-loved host of ITV's The X Factor for seven series, and is now working on his eighth. He also presents his own Sony award-winning BBC Radio 2 show, which draws in close to 2 million listeners each week. From early beginnings as a Runner for BBC Essex, then a Researcher on the TV show Light Lunch, Dermot became one of the founding presenters on Channel Four's T4, before moving on to presenting and producing Big Brother's Little Brother. Dermot has hosted a number of other programmes including, most recently, Channel Four's ground-breaking documentary Live From Space which broadcast from the International Space Station.

Dervla Murphy

Dervla Murphy is one of the very best loved of travel writers. She was born in County Waterford and since 1964 has been regularly publishing accounts of her journeys - by bicycle and on foot - in the remoter areas of four continents. She has also written about the problems of Northern Ireland, the hazards of nuclear power and race relations in Britain. The Times Literary Supplement called her `an admirable woman - she has a romantic soul and a keen eye`.

Donald Sturrock

Donald Sturrock grew up in England and South America and, after leaving Oxford University, joined BBC where he worked as writer, producer and director. He has made more than 30 documentaries, and is the author of critically acclaimed biography of Roald Dahl, Storyteller.

Francesca Ambrogetti

Francesca Ambrogetti was born in Rome. She is a journalist and social psychologist, and currently teaches journalism. In 1982 she headed the Association for Foreign Press in Argentina and from 2000 to 2003, the Association of Foreign Correspondents. She collaborates with international media such as Vatican Radio.

Horatio Clare

Horatio Clare has worked on Front Row and Nightwaves, and produced Radio 3`s The Verb. Born in 1973, Clare has written for The Spectator, the New Statesman, the Guardian, and the Daily Telegraph.

Ian McMillan

Ian McMillan hosts the weekly words show The Verb on Radio 3. He is Yorkshire Planetariums Poet in Space, Poet-in-Residence at Barnsley FC and The Academy of Urbanism, Humberside Police's Beat Poet and Yorkshire TVs Investigative Poet. He has been a regular on Newsnight Review, The Mark Radcliffe Show, The Today Programme, You & Yours and Have I Got News For You? Cats make him sneeze. His poetry shows are the stuff of legend.

James Lovell

James Lovell is much in demand for his skill in turning film scripts into novels. He is based in the US.

Jeffrey Kluger

Jeffrey Kluger is a senior writer at Time magazine. He is co-author of the best-selling Apollo 13, which served as the basis of the film. His other books include Moonhunters and Splendid Solution.

John Gielgud

Sir John Gielgud spent a lifetime on the stage and in front of the camera; his first film was in 1924 when he starred as Daniel in Who Is The Man? Venerated for giving gravitas to a variety of Shakespearean roles, Gielgud made the role of respected old sage his own, and is considered by many to have been one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century. He died in May 2000.

Julian Rubinstein

Julian Rubinstein has written for the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Details, Sports Illustrated, Salon, and other publications. His work has been selected for the Best American Crime Writing anthology and has been cited twice by the Best American Sports Writing. Raised in Denver, he now lives in New York. The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber is his first book.

Lewis Moody

Lewis Moody was born in Ascot in 1978. Educated at Oakham School and later De Montford University, Moody was the then youngest league debutant for Leicester Tigers, aged 18 years and 94 days. After winning seven league championships with Leicester, Lewis moved to Bath Rugby in 2010. He made his debut for England in 2001, and was a key part of the team which won the World Cup in 2003 (after which Lewis was awarded the MBE) and reached the final in 2007. Lewis was named captain in 2010, and is now the most capped England flanker of all time. Lewis lives outside Bath with his wife, Annie and their two sons.

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson served as the seventh, and first woman, President of Ireland from 1990-1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. Robinson has been Honorary President of Oxfam International since 2002, and has chaired numerous bodies including the GAVI Alliance, vaccinating children worldwide, the Council of Women World Leaders (of which she was a co-founder), the International Institute for Environment and Development, and the Institute for Human Rights and Business. A former President of the International Commission of Jurists, Robinson serves on the board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which supports good governance in Africa, and is a member of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela. A member of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Philosophical Society, she is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Indira Ghandi and Sydney Peace Prizes, and has been Chancellor of Dublin University since 1998. She is married to Nick Robinson with three children and four grandchildren. Now President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, she lives in Dublin and Mayo.Tessa Robinson is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the King's Inns. She practised as a barrister for ten years before becoming a freelance writer and copy editor. She is Mary's daughter and lives in Dublin with her husband and two children.

Miranda Hart

Miranda Hart made her mark appearing in shows including Smack the Pony, Absolutely Fabulous and Not Going Out. But when her sitcom Miranda burst on to our screens in 2009, her popularity rocketed. Miranda has since been crowned the Queen of Comedy at the British Comedy Awards and won Best new TV comedy, as well as winning best actress in 2010 and 2011. She has also won three RTS comedy awards and has been nominated for four BAFTAs. Her book Is It Just Me? was the number one best-selling memoir of 2012 and to date it has sold over 580,000 copies. Her stand up show - My, What I Call, Live Show - was a sell-out in 2013. Follow Miranda on Twitter www.twitter.com/mermhart or vist her website www.mirandahart.com

Pamela Young

Pamela Young is a retired social worker. She grew up in north-west England and still lives there with her husband Simon. Pamela has three granddaughters and spends a lot of time with her family. In her spare time she enjoys visiting sacred places and going on spiritual pilgrimages. She also likes walking, reading and meditating. Hope Street is her first book.

Richie Benaud

Richie Benaud captained Australia and was one of the most successful ever Australian cricketers. Since retiring from playing, he established a reputation as the doyenne of cricket commentary, and his global popularity grew with broadcasts on the BBC, Sky and many other networks.

Sam Delaney

Sam Delaney is an award-winning writer and broadcaster whose columns and features appear regularly in the Guardian and the Sunday Telegraph. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio Five Live and has written and presented TV documentaries for the BBC, Channel Four and Channel Five.