virginia-hall

Painting commissioned by Richard J. Guggenhime, showing SO agent Virginia Hall tapping out a message to London with a British SOE Type 3 Mk II suitcase radio, while French resistance leader Edmond Lebrat provides power with an improvised hand-cranked generator. Hall reported on German troop movements, and directed 400 Maquis fighters who ambushed convoys and sabotaged rail lines; she became the first civilian woman to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. This painting by Jeff Bass currently hangs at CIA Headquarters.

Photo & caption festured in Osprey Elite • 173 Office of Strategic Services 1942-45 The World War II Origins of the CIA by Eugene Liptak

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Paramount Buys Spy Novel ‘A Woman Of No Importance’ For Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has acquired the Sonia Purnell book A Woman Of No Importance, and has attached Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley to star. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot is the producer on t…
By Mike Fleming Jr

Ridley will be playing real-life WW2 spy Virginia Hall. Rejected from the US foreign service for both gender and disability (she had a wooden leg named Cuthbert!), Hall joined the British SOE and ROCKED IT. She was considered one of the SOE’s most dangerous spies.

(and she’s probably a future RP :D )

WOMEN OF WWII - VIRGINIA HALL

Virginia Hall Goillot MBE (6 April 1906 – 8 July 1982) was an American spy with the British Special Operations Executive during World War II and later with the American Office of Strategic Services and the Special Activities Division of the Central Intelligence Agency. She was known by many aliases, including “Marie Monin”, “Germaine”, “Diane”, “Marie of Lyon”, “Camille”, and “Nicolas”. The Germans gave her the nickname “Artemis”. The Gestapo reportedly considered her “the most dangerous of all Allied spies”.

Hall was born in Baltimore, Maryland and attended Roland Park Country School and then the prestigious Radcliffe College and Barnard College (Columbia University), where she studied French, Italian and German. She wanted to finish her studies in Europe. With help from her parents, she travelled the Continent and studied in France, Germany, and Austria, finally landing an appointment as a Consular Service clerk at the American Embassy in Warsaw, Poland in 1931. 

Hall had hoped to join the Foreign Service, but suffered a setback around 1932, when she accidentally shot herself in the left leg while hunting in Turkey. The leg was later amputated from the knee down, and replaced with a wooden appendage which she named “Cuthbert”. The injury foreclosed whatever chance she might have had for a diplomatic career, and she resigned from the Department of State in 1939. Thereafter she attended graduate school at American University in Washington, DC.

Hall made her way to London and volunteered for Britain’s newly formed Special Operations Executive (SOE), which sent her back to Vichy in August 1941. She spent the next 15 months there, helping to coordinate the activities of the French Underground in Vichy and the occupied zone of France. At the time she had the cover of a correspondent for the New York Post.

When the Germans suddenly seized all of France in November 1942, Hall barely escaped to Spain. Rather whimsically, her artificial foot had its own codename (“Cuthbert”). According to Dr. Dennis Casey of the U.S. Air Force Intelligence Agency, the French nicknamed her “la dame qui boite” and the Germans put “the limping lady” on their most wanted list. 

Before making her escape, she signalled to SOE that she hoped Cuthbert would not give trouble on the way. The SOE, not understanding the reference, replied, “If Cuthbert troublesome, eliminate him”. Journeying back to London (after working for SOE for a time in Madrid), in July 1943 she was quietly made an honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Virginia Hall joined the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Special Operations Branch in March 1944 and asked to return to occupied France. She hardly needed training in clandestine work behind enemy lines, and OSS promptly granted her request and landed her from a British MTB in Brittany (her artificial leg having kept her from parachuting in) with a forged French identification certificate for Marcelle Montagne. 

Codenamed “Diane”, she eluded the Gestapo, and contacted the French Resistance in central France. She mapped drop zones for supplies and commandos from England, found safe houses, and linked up with a Jedburgh team after the Allied Forces landed at Normandy. Hall helped train three battalions of Resistance forces to wage guerrilla warfare against the Germans and kept up a stream of valuable reporting until Allied troops overtook her small band in September.

Hall was known for forging Resistance networks, creating caches of cash and weapons for her rebels, and whisking escaped POWs out of German-occupied France. The one-legged spy once escaped over the snow-caked Pyrenees Mountains - by foot.

In 1950, Hall married OSS agent Paul Goillot. In 1951, she joined the Central Intelligence Agency, working as an intelligence analyst on French parliamentary affairs. She worked alongside her husband as part of the Special Activities Division.

Quacks: Surely one of the most original new TV shows of the year

How does a sitcom about pioneering doctors in 1840s Britain sound? About as funny as Victorian gall-bladder surgery, or as underpowered as another recent'ish BBC2 period comedy (this one about Edwardian Suffragettes), Up the Women? Fear not, for Quacks is surely one of the most original new TV shows of the year, unsurprisingly since its creator, James Wood, has a track record in unlikely but engagingly droll TV shows; he wrote Rev, the Bafta-winning comedy starring Tom Hollander as an inner-city vicar, and, earlier this year, a delightful adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall – so well-crafted it made Jack Whitehall seem like a proper actor.

Quacks has also assembled a dexterous cast to play its trio of medical pioneers in early Victorian London: Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong) as a showboating surgeon, Robert; Mathew Baynton (Horrible Histories, The Wrong Mans) as William, a psychiatrist – or ‘alienist’ as they were called in those pre-Freudian days; and Tom Basden from Plebs as John, a self-experimenting anaesthetist.

Add a scene-stealing Rupert Everett as George’s anti-semitic boss and Lydia Leonard (a celebrated Anne Boleyn in the stage version of Wolf Hall, and Virginia Woolf in BBC2’s Life in Squares) exhibiting a knack for comedy as George’s professionally and sexually frustrated wife, Caroline, and you have a deft ensemble well capable of taking on Wood’s intelligent scripts.

The idea came for Quacks germinated in the writer’s imagination four or five years ago when he went out for a drink with a surgeon friend. “He told me about the two dentists who pioneered anaesthesia in the 1840s”, says Wood. “These lunatics experimented on each other using nitrous oxide, ether and chloroform and they both became addicts and committed suicide. It never occurred to me to think about where anaesthesia had come from.”

His surgeon friend also suggested a book by the medical historian Roy Porter. “I discovered there was this amazing 20-year period of Victorian medicine that went from the early 1840s, where if you could cut someone’s leg off fast then you’re a good surgeon, and the Bedlam approach to mental illness, to within 20 years when germ theory had come in, nursing had come in, anaesthesia had come in. I gave myself a medical historical education and puked it back out as comedy.”

The opening episode begins with Robert (Kinnear) psyching himself up to go on stage in front of a paying public, except here the stage is an operating table within a mini amphitheatre. This is surgery as spectacle, Robert a showman as he ties on a bloody apron (hygiene wasn’t a consideration in the 1840s) and boasts to the fashionable onlookers about how rapidly he is about to amputate the leg of a fully-awake and terrified accident victim.

“The fame and accolades you received at that time for being the best surgeons were immense”, explains Kinnear. “That’s why they were in theatres because people were there to look at them, and he’s definitely someone who played to the crowd.”

This was also an era when half of all patients didn’t survive surgery. “Many of them simply died of shock”, says Kinnear, adding that whether or not a patient did make it through the operation was only important in how it might reflect on the surgeon’s reputation.

Psychiatry was another discipline in its infancy, if not still in its swaddling clothes. Mathew Baynton’s character William is unusual for the age, believing that the mentally ill should be treated with kindness instead of being locked away in harsh Bedlam-like insane asylums.

“He’s somebody with a great deal of empathy and passion”, says Baynton. “And you discover later that his father suffered from some form of dementia, which at the time they wouldn’t have a great diagnosis for, let alone treatment. So he’s motivated to find better ways to care for these people, but he has absolutely no tools or skills at his disposal.

“One of the things I really loved about the script when I first read it is that comedy, by and large, is based around failure, and this is a rare beast where these guys fail because of the time they are in, but they are actually pioneers and visionaries as opposed to being buffoons and idiots themselves.”

Baynton, who had bad asthma as a child growing up in Essex, has every reason to bless medical progress. Period comedy is not new to the actor-writer who cut his teeth working with James Corden (he is understandably reluctant to discuss his co-star on Gavin & Stacey and The Wrong Mans, claiming that he has yet to do a media interview in which he isn’t asked about Corden) before becoming part of the Horrible Histories team.

“Horrible Histories is unashamedly broad and silly and its primary aim is to educate children - although I’m not involved in it anymore, I hasten to add”, he says. “Quacks is even different to Blackadder in the sense that it doesn’t use the setting to play dress up and enjoy farcical half hours; it’s a proper comedy drama with proper complex human characters with their own stories.”

One similarity to Blackadder, however, is that it employs – albeit sparingly - real historical figures. Both Florence Nightingale and Charles Dickens appear in episode two, Sherlock’s Andrew Scott giving a brilliantly unhinged performance as the novelist as egoist. “James has a bit of an axe to grind with Dickens for some reason”, says Baynton.

“I’ve always just believed that Dickens was a massive dick”, confirms Wood. “And it’s not been properly dramatised. Self-aggrandising, he used to do these talks endlessly for hours and hours… he was so pleased with himself.”

Other guest appearances include Miles Jupp, Jamie Demetriou and Fonejacker’s Kayvan Novak as an Indian mesmerist, but not all of Quacks lives up Wood’s billing for it as “a near-the-bone, raucous badly-behaved comedy”. There is a tender if frustrated love story also going on between William (Baynton) and Robert’s wife, Caroline (Lydia Leonard), and Baynton himself wrote the episode in which Caroline dresses as a man in order to perform surgery – a storyline based on the real case of Margaret Ann Buckley, who identified as female and practised as a military surgeon called James Barry.

Even the most ludicrous-seeming medical details are historically accurate, says Wood – including baked potatoes applied to wounds and the fact that doctors never physically examined their patients, especially females under their charge. In one scene, Rupert Everett’s consultant produces a porcelain anatomical “modesty doll” for a genteel elderly lady (Gemma Jones; Quacks is well cast in depth) to point out where she’s in pain 'below’.

“There’s no way a physician then would touch any of their patients, certainly not a woman”, says Wood. “They’d diagnose, as Rupert Everett’s character puts it, through conversation. They’d chat to their patient about their lifestyle and diagnose them.”

Wood and his director Andy de Emmony took inspiration for their more visceral medical scenes from the Russell Crowe movie Master and Commander. “The surgery in that is brilliant and you don’t really see anything much”, he says. “We used that as our model for – just a few rifle-shot moments are enough, and your imagination fills in the rest. And we’re a comedy so we don’t want to become too repellent.”

'Quacks’ begins on August 15 at 10pm on BBC2

7

Vans Girls’ Catskills Moto Diaries // Babes Ride Out: Virginia Hall 

Hailing from the outskirts of New Jersey comes Babes Ride Out East Coast manager, Virginia Hall. With a big smile, and an even bigger heart, this one-of-a-kind hardtail-scooting gem has easily become one of our favorite girls in the moto scene— and with good reason! Her humility and genuine nature have earned her a spot on our list of “top people to travel with,” and let’s face it… there’s something pretty rad about a woman who has built her own bike. As we pulled up late into the campsite, we sat and chatted with Virginia (clearly she was someone we were eager to hang out with)  about the highs and lows she experienced while building, and the life-altering moments that can only be encountered on two wheels.

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sweetest-garlic  asked:

MY BROTHER IS REALLY SEXIST AND MY DAD IS SLIGHTLY LESS BUT STILL P R O B L E M A T I C AND MY ENGLISH TEACHER SAYS THAT SINGULAR THEY "IS NOT REAL AND NOT TO BE USED" AND IT MAKES ME REALLY MAD AND I JUST WANT TO VENT AND FIND SOME STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS AND SLAP MY BROTHER IN THE FACE WITH THEM BECAUSE HE SAYS THAT JAMES BOND CAN'T HAVE FEMALE SPIES IN IT AND I'M JUST REALLY, REALLY MAD AND I WANT TO ANGRY CRY

GO AHEAD AND ANGRY CRY. WHILST YOUR BROTHER IS BEING A SEXIST PIG, SLAP HIM WITH SOME REAL FEMALE REALNESS.

This is Eileen Nearne. She was a spy during World War II and at 23 she was dropped by parachute into occupied France to relay messages from the French resistance. She was captured by the Germans, tortured and sent to a concentration camp. But she managed to keep up her story and was moved to a different camp. She managed to escape the camp and hide from the gestapo until the area she was hiding in was liberated. When she passed away in 2010 she was given a hero’s funeral.

SHE’S BADASS. AND WAS A REAL LIFE SPY. SO SHOVE THAT IS YOUR BROTHER’S PIE HOLE.

Check out Virginia Hall. She was wanted by the Gestapo as one of the most dangerous allied spies. She worked for Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Nazi-occupied France in World War II. Having lost her lower leg in 1933, she wore a prosthetic. In 1942, the Germans took direct control of France and Virginia had to leave. She managed to hike all the through the snowy Pyrenees Mountains to Spain on her prosthetic to escape the Nazis. Think about that for a minute. Prosthetics weren’t what they’re like now. This would have been some tough shit. I don’t see James Bond hiking through the snow on a false limb. OH AND. She then returned to France to train and arm guerrilla groups whilst constantly moving around to avoid detection by Nazis - who by this point had issued wanted posters and rewards for the so-called “limping lady”.

JAMES BOND’S GOT NOTHING ON THIS WOMAN.

Meet Nancy Wake. One of the most decorated Allied servicewomen of World War II. Nancy Grace Augusta Wake was known to the Gestapo as ”The White Mouse“ for her ability to evade detection and capture. She was part of the French Resistance and later on in the war joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE). She was parachuted into the Auvergne region of France to provide guerrilla groups with arms. Her compatriots praised her strength and courage, two qualities she needed in abundance when she killed an SS sentry with her bare hands to stop him raising the alarm during a raid. After the war ended, Nancy was awarded the George Medal, the US Presidential Medal Of Freedom, the Médaille de la Résistance and three Croix de Guerres from France.

DON’T TELL ME WOMEN CAN’T BE SPIES BECAUSE I KNOW THEY CAN.

Also, your English teacher is behind the times and in my opinion, totally wrong. Gender is a construct. No-one is born with their gender, they’re born with their sex (literally, the organs you are born with). Gender is something you learn. And should you decide you are not female, or male, or either, then that is your decision. If you want your pronouns to be ‘they’, ‘them’ etc. then so ahead and use that! People are still adjusting to using different pronouns for people. But they will get it eventually. I promise you.

NOW HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH, USE WHATEVER PRONOUNS YOU DAMN WELL WANT AND STRUT AWAY FROM ALL THAT NEGATIVITY.

Originally posted by gifs-for-the-masses

Untitled. Mixed medium painting on Strathmore illustration board, partially transected front and back so as to fold outward while remaining one continuous piece.
Collection: Department of Psychology, Williams Hall, Virginia Tech.

Belated Thoughts on “Smoke and Mirrors”: Peggy, Bletchley, and the SOE

Note: this post operates on the timeline that assumes Peggy was born in April 1921. 

Peggy Carter has done more than her fair share of fighting for what she has, and she’s had plenty of doors slammed in her face, but I like that this season of the show is exploring how she also has benefitted from certain privileges that women like Agnes Cully and Dottie Underwood didn’t have. The first of these is security—both familial and financial. Peggy had people who believed  in her, and Peggy also grew up in a comfortable environment, well-fed and full of books and play. Who knows if that thing Peggy said in her application to the Griffith about her father knowing a Senator was true, but if so he might have been an MP or diplomat. In any case, her family had enough money to get a proper wedding dress in wartime, and they were also able to give their daughter her second great privilege: an education.

Let’s look at Peggy’s education for a moment. We know she’s a badass fighter, but given her accomplishments, Peggy is probably also gifted in math and the modern languages. She’s a natural at codebreaking, which means she’s quick at picking up and processing information and at recognizing patterns. To be hired at Bletchley, she would probably have known German and/or been good at math. For the SOE to recruit her, she would most likely have to be fluent in French. We know from “The Iron Curtain” that she can translate from Russian on the spot. She also has enough working knowledge of the sciences that she knows which household products contain what she needs to neutralize a nitramene bomb and that she can BS a sufficiently realistic-sounding way to engineer a strain of malaria.

(More on the timeline of Peggy’s involvement with Bletchley, the SOE, and the SSR below)

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i-burn-i-pine-i-perish  asked:

hi! love the tumblr, i just wondered if you had any book recs that specifically were about/examples of queer theory as a concept./ whether you had any classic (also hopefully ones older than 1950s? if not thats fine!) queer recs that aren't just about white gay dudes. Thanks!

I haven’t read a lot of queer theory myself, but Queer Theory: An Introduction by Annamarie Jagose and  Queer Theory, Gender Theory: An Instant Primer by Riki Anne Wilchins might be good places to start. The works of Judith Butler, Sara Ahmed and José Esteban Muñoz have also been recommended to me.

For queer books older than the 1950s that don’t just feature white dudes, here’s a few:

However, all of these (as far as I know) were written by and feature white people. I had a hard time finding any queer works pre-1950 by people of color, but here are a few “queer classics” by people of color from 1950-1990:

As always, readers who know any more books that fit this ask are encouraged to reblog and recommend!