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MI5 and Me
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'A Jilly Cooper heroine in a John le Carre world' (Libby Purves, TLS); a beguiling comic memoir about a young woman who discovers her father is a spy (and was the model for John le Carre's George Smiley) and goes to work as a secretary in 1950s MI5

About the Author

Charlotte Bingham wrote her first book, Coronet Among the Weeds, a memoir of her life as a debutante, at the age of 19. It was published in 1963 and became an instant bestseller. She went on the write a further memoir, Coronet Among the Grass. Her father, John Bingham, the 7th Baron Clanmorris, was a member of M15 where Charlotte Bingham worked as a secretary. He was an inspiration for John le Carre's character George Smiley. Charlotte Bingham went on to write thirty-three internationally bestselling novels and, in partnership with her late husband Terence Brady, a number of successful, plays, films and TV series including Upstairs Downstairs and Take Three Girls. She lives in Somerset. charlottebingham.com

Reviews

An astonishing tale ... She still has all the exuberant delight of a teenager in telling stories to make herself and other people laugh. Long may she write -- Lynn Barber * Sunday Times *
Imagine a Jilly Cooper heroine in an early John le Carre world ... It offers to our over-anxious age of Putin-dread, Corbynism and cybercrime an enthrallingly nostalgic portrait of a post-war Britain, an idyll where even the security services breathe a kind of sweet innocence -- Libby Purves * Times Literary Supplement *
A hilarious and candid account of her time at MI5: the shady characters her father invites home, and anecdotes of office life both absurd yet believable. Filled with period detail, Bingham's memoir is entertaining and extraordinary -- Hannah Beckerman * Observer *
Much fun, brilliant, sly ... The more cynical of us might expect treachery, backstabbing and boardroom power-grabs, but what Lottie finds is "good folk and true, working away in the defence of our lovely country, full of integrity, and so much fun". Given the charming, flighty narrative that results, it would be a hard-hearted reader who'd find fault with that * Spectator *
A stone-cold comic classic ... Joyfully silly, with undercurrents of real danger * Tatler *
Sparky and larky ... Amusing -- Lucy Hughes-Hallett * Guardian *
I had underestimated Charlotte Bingham's capacity to write light-heartedly-and indeed, hilariously ... In her book, one funny story follows another ... You will be sure to find this book a most entertaining and enjoyable read * Country Life *

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