Christine Granville was, at least apocryphally, Winston Churchill's favourite spy. Born Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbek, daughter of a charming but dissolute Polish aristocrat and a Jewish banking heiress, she was described in 1939 as "a flaming Polish patriot … expert skier and great adventuress". So she was.
The Real-Life Vesper Lynde. Known to history as Christine Granville, Krystyna Skarbek was first Polish nobility and later Churchill's favorite spy. Undaunted by weather, Christine skied over the Tatras from Hungary to Poland to gather intelligence and participated in the liberation of France. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre, but found herself ill-suited to normal employment, and worked as a saleswoman at Harrods and as a telephonist before becoming an oceanliner stewardess. Along the way, Christine met Ian Fleming, who may have based his first "Bond Girl" on the intrepid spy. Want to know more? Read her recently republished biography or order her file from the Briish National Archives.