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  • Published: 30 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847925824
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $35.00

Victoire

A Wartime Story of Resistance, Collaboration and Betrayal




An incredible story of heroism, complicity and survival about a charismatic double-agent who played a major role in World War Two - Agent Victoire.

VICTOIRE is about Mathilde Carré - codenamed 'La Chatte', the cat, then known as Agent Victoire - who was the exceptionally charismatic and daring founder of the 'Big Network'. This was the first Allied intelligence network in Occupied France, which soon grew central to Resistance efforts and to be a lifeline of crucial information to an isolated Britain. But her allegiances become more complex when the network is rolled up by the Germans and she makes a fateful compromise. She first becomes a double agent before later trying to persuade the British to back her as a triple agent.

Mathilde's story and that of the network she helped build has never been fully told before. This book will draw on a wide range of sources including recently declassified material to do that. (Elusive to the last, she was thought to have died in 1970 but may in fact have lived as a recluse until 2007 and the age of 98.)

VICTOIRE shares the themes of compromise and duplicity which Roland explored with such success in A SPY NAMED ORPHAN. As he writes, 'Mathilde Carré's life is a three-act tragedy: the woman who does right, the woman who does wrong, the woman who tries to redeem herself but can never be fully trusted.'

  • Published: 30 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847925824
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Roland Philipps

Roland Philipps went into publishing on graduating from Cambridge and until recently was Publisher of John Murray. He has edited some leading novelists, politicians, historians, travellers and biographers. A Spy Named Orphan, his first book, arises from lifelong connections to Donald Maclean and his story.

Also by Roland Philipps

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Praise for Victoire

What a read! What a fascinating character! I was gripped from the first page to the last. A truly astonishing story, meticulously and brilliantly told

Philippe Sands, author of The Ratline

A wonderful, atmospheric book: a miraculous portrait of a flawed human being, and a masterful account of the moral quagmire of wartime France and Britain

Carmen Callil, author of Bad Faith

Roland Philipps tells Victoire's story with skill and compassion, and reveals that for all her betrayals, she deserves more understanding than she received in her lifetime

Artemis Cooper, author of Patrick Leigh Fermor

The wartime spy career of Mathilde Carré - aka 'the Cat' and 'Agent Victoire' - is so extraordinary it almost defies belief

The Times

Enough plot twists and moral ambiguity to satisfy any spy novelist ... At its heart this is a book about the moral dilemmas involved in living under the perverting conditions of war and occupation ... Philipps does a fine job of setting the scene inside France, and building up the tension in this increasingly gripping wartime story, and all that follows ... a deeply humane book

Clare Mulley, Spectator

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