02 September 2008

Roald Dahl Working Undercover

The Telegraph of London offers an article about Roald Dahl, author of James and the Giant Peach and My Uncle Oswald:

A portrait of Dahl's Second World War years as an undercover agent attached to the British Embassy in Washington is painted in The Irregulars, published in Britain on September 9.

Drawing on previously unpublished letters and other documents, American journalist Jennet Conant has written about Dahl's numerous sexual conquests.

They include Millicent Rogers, the heiress to a Standard Oil fortune, and Clare Boothe Luce, a right-wing congresswoman and the wife of the publisher of Time magazine.

Boothe Luce proved so frisky, Dahl later claimed to have begged his superiors to take him off the assignment, only to be told to get back into the bedroom. . . .

Dahl was moved to Washington in 1942 after being declared unfit to fly after a successful RAF career. . . .

Despite Dahl's reputation as "one of the biggest cocksmen in America", as described by previous biography, he was said to have passed on several useful pieces of intelligence, including his belief that President Franklin D Rooseveldt [sic] was having an affair with Crown Princess Martha of Norway, who had been granted asylum by the US.
FDR's affair with the crown princess is also discussed in Doris Kearns Goodwin's No Ordinary Time and other books. Another member of the same ring was Ian Fleming.

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