Title: Ashenden: or, The British Agent Author: Maugham, W. Somerset [William Somerset] () Date of first publication: A set of short stories, connected in theme, featuring Ashenden, “a writer by profession”, who is now a member of the British Secret Service. Like Ian Fleming . Ashenden; or, the British Agent, by W. Somerset Maugham is not the first secret agent novel in English. Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent.

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Ashenden: or, The British Agent

If it went down on your expense account I would have proposed playing till we reached Rome, but you are sympathetic to me. Well, not really Keystone Cop, but the ashenfen arrogance of the “Hairless Mexican” made me shake me head a number of times. I could have cried for pity for her.

It looked very like a trap. It might mean anything.

Ashenden by W. Somerset Maugham, from Project Gutenberg Canada

All in all,I would say this book is passable. The baroness gave him a flashing, brilliant smile. It was early in the year, but the weather had suddenly turned warm, and they walked with their coats over their arms. He was to start for Geneva next day.

I don’t know that I’d leave a gold cigarette-case about when he was in the neighbourhood, but if he lost money to you at poker and had pinched your cigarette-case he would immediately pawn it to pay you. Agrnt an angry shrug of the shoulders he put it back in his pocket. They had reached the end of an admirable repast.


The General opened his bag and took our the bottle. The book begins in the heart of Western Europe, in neutral territory, and progresses from the carrying of small bits of information, to the arrangement of assassinations and betrayals, to violent disruptions in the Russian streets in the days before the Soviet revolution.

I think you and he had better travel together. I do not know where they are and in any case they would not thank me for dragging them away from their diversions, because their governess has had a stroke, I know what they are. Each of course knew on what work the other was engaged and Ashenden had had a mind to chaff him about it—it seemed absurd when he had dined with a man off and on for years and played cards with him, to act as though he did not know him from Adam—but refrained in case the German looked upon his behaviour as further proof of the British frivolity in face of war.

Have a little patience and I’m sure you’ll be able to say anything you want. His Excellency – A continuation and conclusion of “Behind the Scenes”.

They aimed at truth. Ashenden; or, the British Agentby W.

There’s something about you that they can’t resist. Without a word the doctor pointed to the bed. Madame de Higgins went on:. She held me to asenden word. I saw her first in a house, a casa de mujeres in Mexico City, she was going down the stairs as I went up; she was not very beautiful, I had had a hundred more beautiful, but she had something that took my fancy and I told the old woman who kept the house to send her to me. When the bill came he passed some hundred-franc notes over to Ashenden and said:.


There is hardly an action that I make without consulting them. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Spies are spies, from generation to generation. It gave Ashenden a shock to look at her. And now as he carefully put one foot into the bath, wondering if he could bear it, he asked himself what Bernard had in the end decided on.

Ashenden: or, The British Agent

The Mexican was going to Brindisi and Ashenden to Naples. Once more his eyes were held by those other eyes in which was all that remained alive of that old, old woman. He decided to research the secret service during Maugham’s period to ‘dig up material that way,’ but he found that all pertinent material also was covered by the Official Secrets Act.

As he walked past Count Holzminden, Ashenden feeling very gay hazarded the shadow of a wink. He was afraid Bernard would think asgenden inquiry an attempt to laugh at him. I see an innocence disguised as mystery. Chris 15 March at