THE SPIRIT IN THE CAGE by Peter Churchill


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Peter Churchill, whose account of sabotage carried out in occupied France, Duel of Wits, appeared earlier this year (see p. 28, January 1, 1955 bulletin), carries on from the date of his capture in April 1953, after betrayal. Captured with him, his beloved courier Odette (known also as Lise, now his wife), sacrificed herself almost to extinction to shift responsibility from Churchill to herself and to keep secret the names of other operators. Because of this, Churchill was transferred to a Stalag (his name had been used as an encouragement) where he came out of the two years' imprisonment relatively well off. His story is mainly concerned with the events of those years -- the interrogations, moments of meeting and parting with Odette, the strange relationship with Henri, his informer, the need for and obtaining of food for the body and spirit (a German priest brought the books to stave off madness). In 1946, Odette and Pierre went to Buckingham Palace, she to receive the George Cross, he the D.S.O. And how Odette""s valor was also given its due in a book by Jerrard Tickell and a movie starring Anna Neagle, is again reveaied here. If only the style of this book were as distinguished as the spirit behind it: As it is, without eventful material, the lack is more apparent as an essentially internal experience is given external treatment.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1955
Publisher: Putnam