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Dear Reader

Dear Reader #46

Dear Reader,

A reminder that I have extended my participation in Smashwords’ Authors Give Back sale until 31 May.

All my books are listed as free or 0.99.

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https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/hannahhowe

Many thanks to the readers at Many Books for voting Betrayal the best mystery-thriller for March 🙂

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https://manybooks.net/articles/books-of-the-month-march-2020

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I’m sure all book lovers can identify with this

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My Author of the Week, Grant Leishman

Grant is a very imaginative, multi-genre author. Along with his writing talent, he is also very supportive of his fellow authors. All his books are worthy of your attention, especially Love Beyond, his finest book in my opinion.

https://www.grantleishman.com

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My Pinterest profile. This will become my main social media outlet in the near future.


My latest translation, Victory into Portuguese. Many thanks to Adriana for her wonderful work on this series.

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I’m delighted to see that Estripador is gathering five star reviews on Google Play 🙂

This is one of sixty-six books I have available through Google Play.

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Google Play Hannah Howe

A ship off Pink Bay and Sger Beach this week

Porthcawl Seafront and Rest Bay at seven o’clock in the morning


An excellent podcast from the Paris Institute For Critical Thinking

A Schoolmaster’s War

A wonderful book and a wonderful interview. Harry Ree was a fascinating man, a true hero, although he would probably hate that label. Jonathan Ree has done his father, and the literary world, a great service by producing this book. As I wrote elsewhere, it is a book that should be taught and discussed in schools so that young people can gain an insight into the SOE and its role in the Second World War and, more importantly, learn that heroes and heroines take on many forms. While politicians soak up all the glory it is people like the retired school mistress who sacrificed their lives who deserve our greatest respect.

Saint-Leu-d’Esserent is notable for its 3,000 metres of mushroom caves under the Thiverny plateau. In the summer of 1944, SOE agents made an astonishing discovery in these caves, a discovery that had a significant impact on the war. That revelation will appear in Operation Sherlock, book five in my Eve’s War Heroines of SOE Series.

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In the autumn of 1940 a German arrived at a school in Alsace to suppress the use of the French language. At the end of his ‘lesson’ he ordered the class to shout, “Heil Hitler!”

However, twelve-year-old Colette Fouillette and her friend shouted, “Drei Liter!” (Three litres).

By 1943, Colette was active in the Resistance, delivering messages by bicycle, and she remained active until the Liberation, a shining example of youthful courage.

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Image: View of Église Saint-Martin (Wikipedia)

Women of Courage Heroines of SOE

Yvonne Jeanne de Vibraye Baseden, later known as Yvonne Burney, was born on 20 January 1922 in Paris. Her father, a First World War pilot, crash-landed in France at the home of the Comte de Vibraye. The Comtesse invited him to dinner, which turned into a romantic occasion because he fell in love with the Comte and Comtesse’s daughter. The couple duly married and, at the end of the First World War, lived in France.

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Later, Yvonne’s parents lived in various countries within Europe. She was educated in Britain, France, Poland, Italy and Spain learning several languages as a result.

On 4 September 1940, aged eighteen, Yvonne joined the WAAF as a clerk. From there, she worked for the RAF in intelligence where she captured the SOE’s attention.

Recommend by fellow agent Pearl Witherington, Yvonne joined the SOE on 24 May 1943. On 18 March 1944, aged 22, she became one of the youngest female agents to parachute into France.

Under the code name Odette, Yvonne arrived in the village of Gabarret where she linked up with the Wheelwright network. Travelling to Eastern France, she worked for four months as the wireless operator for the Scholar network under the cover of Mademoiselle Yvonne Bernier, a shorthand typist and secretary.

On 26 June 1944, the Gestapo trapped Yvonne and seven of her colleagues in a cheese factory. They shot her organiser, Baron Gonzagues de St Genies, while Yvonne was arrested and interrogated. War is brutal, but Yvonne’s story reminds us that war as practiced by the fascists plunged unacceptable levels of barbarity.

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Female prisoners at Ravensbrück, 1939

By September, Yvonne was in the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp. While at the camp, she became ill with tuberculosis and was transferred to the hospital where she remained, with 500 other women, until the closing days of the Second World War when the camp was liberated by the Swedish Red Cross.

The Swedish Red Cross ensured that Yvonne reached Malmö where they deloused her. She spent her first nights of freedom on a mattress on the floor of the Malmö Museum of Prehistory, sleeping under the skeletons of dinosaurs.

After the war, the Allies arrested the SS guards at Ravensbrück, along with the female Aufseherinnen guards. Between 1946 and 1948, sixteen of the accused were found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and were sentenced to death.

In September 1955, Yvonne became the first regular subject of the BBC programme This is Your Life, although later in her life she shunned the limelight. After her second marriage in 1966, as Yvonne Burney, she moved to Portugal before returning to Britain in 1999.

Yvonne died in October 2017 at the age of 95 another example of the remarkable longevity of the surviving SOE female agents.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

 

3 replies on “Dear Reader #46”

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