Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies is the first history of invisible ink and secret communications revealed through thrilling stories about scoundrels and heroes and their ingenious methods for concealing messages. Spies were imprisoned or murdered, adultery unmasked, and battles lost because of faulty or intercepted secret communications. Yet, successfully hidden writing helped save lives, win battles, and ensure privacy; occasionally it even changed the course of history.
Kristie Macrakis combines a storyteller's sense of drama with a historian's respect for evidence in this pause-resisting history of intrigue and espionage, love and war, magic and secrecy. From the piazzas of ancient Rome to the spy capitals of the Cold War, Macrakis' global history reveals the drama and importance of invisible ink. From Ovid's advice to use milk for illicit love notes, to John Gerard's dramatic escape from the tower of London aided by orange juice ink messages, to al-Qaeda's hidden instructions in pornographic movies, this book presents spellbinding stories of secret messaging that chart its evolution in sophistication and its impact on history.
The book includes fun kitchen chemistry recipes for listeners to try out at home.
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Good book, poor performance
I would buy another book by Kirstie Macrakis, but not one narrated by Robert Prout.
The narrator stumbles over pronunciation of some words and leaves weird gaps in sentences which mean you have to concentrate very hard to understand what the author was trying to convey. It sounds like some parts of sentences were re-recorded which results in the voice changing tempo and pitch mid sentence in some places - why not re-record the whole paragraph, or at least the whole sentence?
Disappointment in the narration.
The subject and content of the book are excellent, but it is spoilt by the narration. I have only listened to the first couple of hours, and have given up. I will be buying the print version of the book, though, as the subject is very interesting and the author seems to cover it in great detail.
- Andy Y