Eight Hours from England by Anthony Quayle – A candid account of SOE operations in occupied Europe described by Andrew Roberts as ‘As well as being one of our greatest actors, Anthony Quayle was an intrepid war hero and his autobiographical novel is one of the greatest adventure stories of the Second World War. Beautifully written and full of pathos and authenticity, it brings alive the terrible moral decisions that have to be taken by soldiers under unimaginable pressures in wartime.’
Thanks to Anne from Random Things Tours and The IWM for my copy of Eight Hours From England by Anthony Quayle, my final review in the series of republished world war 2 works.
1943, Major John Overton, realising his partner doesn’t share his feelings, volunteers for SOE operations and finds himself posted to an Albania on the cusp of civil war.
A struggle to over come a fraught political background, amongst many challenges, it’s a book that highlights the intricacies of the war.
As much as this book is beautifully written and stated as a novel, it reads very much like Quayle’s Memoir, his alter ego being John Overton.
It’s tense, and moving, whilst not filled was the scenes of war you may expect from a novel such as this.
Gripping, fascinating and a literary feat, another pleasure to read in this republished series of Wartime Gems.
Anthony Quayle was a renowned Shakespearean actor, director and film star and during the Second World War was a Special Operations Executive behind enemy lines in Albania.
IWM IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War.
Our unique collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events. Using these, we tell vivid personal stories and create powerful physical experiences across our five museums that reflect the realities of war as both a destructive and creative force. We challenge people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives.
IWM’s five branches which attract over 2.5 million visitors each year are IWM London, IWM’s flagship branch that recently transformed with new, permanent and free First World War Galleries alongside new displays across the iconic Atrium to mark the Centenary of the First World War; IWM North, housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind; IWM Duxford, a world renowned aviation museum and Britain's best preserved wartime airfield; Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.