Alan Judd

Old-Fashioned Hero

Man of War: The Secret Life of Captain Alan Hillgarth, Officer, Adventurer, Agent

By

Century 433pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Biographies of the little-known generally attract no more attention than their subjects did in their lifetimes – unless, as with Claire Tomalin’s excellent biography of Dickens’s mistress Nelly Ternan, they are associated with more famous figures. I knew that Alan Hillgarth was an influential Second World War naval attaché at the British embassy in Madrid, but that was all. He bore a torch in that great conflagration, like many thousands of others, but you need to be painted in big, bold colours to show up in the crowded pages of history.

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