PREVIEW: Stalin’s Englishman – The Lives of Guy Burgess a talk by Andrew Lownie

November 8, 2016

Educational charity Secret WW2 Learning Network, presents a unique series of talks in November, BRIGHTON’S SECRET AGENTS: Britain’s Secret WW2 at the Old Courtroom.

On Tuesday November 15, Andrew Lownie will discuss his book Stalin’s Englishman The Lives of Guy Burgess. Lownie believes Guy Burgess was the most important, complex and fascinating of The Cambridge Spies – Maclean, Philby, Blunt – all brilliant young men recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union.

An engaging and charming companion to many, an unappealing, utterly ruthless manipulator to others, Burgess rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive secret documents which he passed to his Russian handlers.

Andrew Lownie
Andrew Lownie

In this first full biography, Lownie has shown how even Burgess’s chaotic personal life of drunken philandering did nothing to stop his penetration and betrayal of the British Intelligence Service. Even when he was under suspicion, the fabled charm which had enabled many close personal relationships with influential Establishment figures (including Winston Churchill) prevented his exposure as a spy for many years.

Guy Burgess
Guy Burgess

Burgess’s scores of lovers ranged from lorry drivers and sailors to leading Establishment figures including Harold Nicolson, Anthony Blunt, Donald MacleanJames Pope Hennessy, and even several women.

Through interviews with more than a hundred people who knew Burgess personally, many of whom have never spoken about him before, and the discovery of hitherto secret files, Stalin’s Englishman brilliantly unravels the many lives of Guy Burgess in all their intriguing, chilling, colourful, tragi-comic wonder.

Event: Stalin’s Englishman The Lives of Guy Burgess

Where: The Old Courtroom, 118 Church St, Brighton BN1 1UD

When: Tuesday, November 15

Time: 7pm

Cost: Entry by online donation.

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