M Book Tour!

Some talks I’ll be giving in the months ahead:

20 April – Edinburgh Spy Week

4 May – Camberley Natural History Society

6 May – Clapham Omnibus

8 May – M Book Launch

11 May – Borzoi Bookshop

12 May – Swindon Festival of Literature

24 May – Sohemian Society

25 May – Hungerford Bookshop

1 June – Heffers Bookshop

5 June – Village Books, Dulwich

12 June – The Society Club

13 June – Ealing Local History Centre

14 June – Surrey Heath Local History Club

20 June – Kibworth Bookshop

26 June – Reform Club

29 June – Chalke Valley History Festival

1 July – Felixstowe Literary Festival

2 July – Buckingham Literary Festival

11 July – British Library

24 July – Special Forces Club

9 August – Waterstones Gower Street

22 August – Evesham Festival of Books

13 September – Chiswick Book Festival

15 September – Gloucester History Festival

27 September – Royal United Services Institute

13 October – Frinton Literary Festival

15 October – Thame Arts & Literature Festival

17 October – Authors Club

6 November – Bridport Literary Festival  SOLD OUT

6 November – Richmond Literature Festival SOLD OUT

22 November – Folkestone Bookfest

14 February 2018 – Guildford Institute SOLD OUT

21 February 2018 – Dulwich & District U3A

1 March 2018 – Sevenoaks Bookshop

10 March 2018 – Essex Book Festival

18 March 2018 – Aye Write!

10 May 2018 – Chipping Campden Literature Festival

12 May 2018 – Clapham Book Fair

19 May 2018 – The Bath Festival

3 June 2018 – Stoke Newington Literary Festival

23 June 2018 – Portsmouth Festivities

July 2018 – Wimpole History Festival

16 October 2018 – Oxted & District History Society

More soon…

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Your Comments

  1. 1

    Mr. Hemming. I have an idea for a biography for you: my grandfather, George Palmer Putnam, from G. P. Putnam Sons Publishing and marriages to Dorothy Binney–think Binney and Smith Crayolas– and Amelia Earhart, was an eccentric man of letters and adventure and movies and politics, who remains almost completely mischaracterized. His life was full of unbelievable adventures and odd characters.

    • 2

      Many thanks David, that’s fascinating. The next two books I’ll be doing are fairly settled, but G. P. Putnam is a fascinating figure and I will bear him in mind as a possible future subject. Did he leave behind many papers?

  2. 3

    In all the writings including your book on Maxwell knight I can find no reference to the fact that he taught Biology at a girls school in Camberley in the 1950’s I have a book signed by him.

    • 4

      Dear Harriet, many thanks for this. Yes, I’ve heard that he taught Biology at Beaufront School in 1954/55. Were you by any chance in the same class as Victoria Coombes?

  3. 5

    We have been very interested to read your latest book on Max Knight. He was my husbands godfather. My father in law Tom Roberts worked with Max during and after the war. They were good friends. We have several books,photos etc.He was also a magician and came to our family childrens parties. We would love to come to one of your talks and wondered if you have to be a member of the Surrey Heath History society to attend the talk you are giving there on 14th June That seems to be the nearest venue to us.Thanks

    • 6

      Dear Helen, many thanks for this. How fascinating! I imagine that anyone can attend the talk organised by the Surrey Heath History society, but I’ll check now and email you directly once I’ve heard back from them.
      I look forward to meeting you, and hope you don’t mind me asking you lots of questions.
      With best wishes,

  4. 7

    I was telling my daughter about the women who worked for M and she pointed out a much earlier example of a brace woman spy. Sarah Aaronsohn was a Jewish woman who opposed Turkish rule of what is now Israel. She and her colleagues in “Nili” spied for the British against the Turks in WW1. She was tortured by the Turks and committed suicide rather than reveal secrets.

    • 8

      Dear Phil,
      Thanks for this. I remember reading some time ago about Sarah Aaronsohn, who is a fascinating character and enormously brave. Good to be reminded of her.
      Many thanks,

  5. 9

    Dear Mr Hemming
    Your talk at Chalke Valley was masterful this afternoon.
    I have bought your book and look forward to reading it.
    By the by yours was the best talk I have heard there, on the same level as Ian Kershaw.

    • 10

      Huge thanks Graeme, that’s made my day! Hope you enjoy the book

  6. 11

    I enjoyed meeting you at the Savile Club (not the Reform as you advertise) on 26.6.17, after your book signing, when one of my guests had given me a copy of your book on Knight. I remember meeting Uncle Max with my grandfather, also Dr Geoffrey Vevers, and your account of MK reminds me of so many items.
    I can even venture to offer the odd correction.
    Would you like to join me for a meal at the Savile?

  7. 13

    Dear Mr. Hemming: Agent M is a well written book and very informative. I enjoyed it very much. Well done. John

  8. 14

    Dear Mr Hemming: I have just read your book about Maxwell Knight and MI5 and I found it most interesting, educational and revealing. I suppose that I should not be surprised to learn, indirectly from you, that the Security Service(s) at least in the early days, were so barely competent and quite naive! Also, I would like to contradict a statement made several times in your book. On pages 293, 302 and 317 you refer to the fact that M and his associates “ensured the death of organised Facsism”, “killed of British Fascism” and ” …. that Fascism might one day rise from the dead”. SEE NEXT COMMENT.

  9. 15

    To continue: In fact British Fascists and British Fascism, organised or otherwise, were not killed off but have continued to present danger to Britain and the British people in another altogether guise. They simply re-invented themselves as Right Wing Tories, who then proceeded to engineer a coup within the old and broadly acceptable Conservative Party. To kick start this process they used Margaret Thatcher. As a result of this coup, Britain has been undermined (eg by the selling off of all of Britain’s strategic economic assets and resources and now through the Brexit disaster) and all but destroyed. We have have to ask why this has happened and who is to blame. I am non-political but the British people have a lot to answer for! This, I might suggest, would make for a bombshell of new book!
    Thank you for your time in reading this viewpoint. I worked for the Home Office for 30 years and vouch that it was and is a shambolic organisation still, q view point no doubt M would have shared!

    • 16

      Dear Keith,
      Many thanks for this, and sorry not to get back to you sooner. Really glad you enjoyed the book and thanks for your interesting comment.
      You’re absolutely right, M was not particularly fond of the Home Office!
      Thanks also for your thoughts on organised British Fascism and what happened after the war. I take a different position on this, and would argue that the bulk of the officers, staff and senior figures of the BUF etc. did not reinvent themselves as Tories or indeed engineer a coup three decades later to bring Margaret Thatcher to power. Which is not to say that there weren’t some Conservatives during the 1930s who were mildly sympathetic to the BUF or did not see it as a dangerous extremist organisation. Yet all the research I’ve done points strongly to the idea that the majority of those associated with the BUF found themselves stigmatised after the war by the fact that they had been detained under 18b and were unable to play a meaningful part in British politics in the years that followed. But I’m always on the look-out for new research! So let me know if there are other papers/documents/diaries etc. you think I should be looking at.
      Thanks again for your comment.
      All v best,

  10. 17

    Just finished Agrnt M.. excellent — congratulations!

  11. 18

    Dear Mr. Hemming,
    I enjoyed your book very much, and learned a lot from it. I was also surprised to read about Soviet agents stealing the plans for the British naval 14″ gun in the summer of 1937. It’s probably no coincidence that in August 1937 the Soviet navy abandoned work on a battleship design with 12″ guns, and instead initiated work on a design with 14″ guns. If you have the time, I’d like to discuss this event with you, as I’m now in the process of revising my book, Russian and Soviet Battleships (Naval Institute Press, 2003) and would like to get more information on exactly what was stolen. Many thanks!

    • 19

      Hi Steve, glad you enjoyed the book. I’ll email you now about this. Happy to help, H

  12. 20

    Hi Mr Hemming, I enjoyed “M” very much. Thanks!
    As a small point for a future printing, a small editing oversight – I think it likely that (bottom of p300) ref Olda Gray, the sentence was intended to be “…young family to Lindsay, outside ofToronto Ontario, a small…”

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