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Spy Who Loved (Mulley) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
1. What did you learn from the book, and how much did you find surprising?

  • How much did you know about the role of Poland in WWII? Does this change the way you think about Europe?
  • Did you already have an image of female special agents inWWII? Did Christine fit this image?
  • How does the story reflect on Britain’s conduct of the warand post-war period?

2. It has been argued that history, more than most subjects, is required to have modern resonance, to give it value. Do you think this story helps to enlighten us today? Do you think that this is important?

3. How valid are biographies as a way of learning about our past? What are the advantages and limitations of this genre?

4. The author wrote that Christine "lived boundlessly, as generous as she could be cruel." What were Christine’s great strengths, and what were her weaknesses?

5. Do you think the way we judge Christine has changed over time?

6.  What motivated Christine?

7. What do you think Christine would have done with her life, had WWII not taken place, and what do you think she would have gone on to do with the rest of her life, were it not for her untimely death in 1952?

8. Does Christine deserve a place in history?

9.  How readable did you find the book?

10. How does it manage the balance between telling a thrilling story and presenting well-researched history?

11. Did you read the appendices at the end of the book? What did they add? Why were they not included in the main chapters, and do you think this was the right decision?

12. Would the story make a good film or TV series? Who would play the part of Christine Granville?

13. Watch Clare Mulley talk about Christine Granville in this YouTube film.

14. Find the Wikipedia entries for Christine Granville, and other female SOE agents. How do they compare?

15. Use Googlemaps with Streetview to see some of the locations mentioned in the book.
(Questions from the author's website.)

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