Graham Greene, W. Somerset Maugham were MI6 wartime spies, book reveals

London, Sept 22 (ANI): Britain's Secret Intelligence Service has admitted for the first time that famous authors like Graham Greene, W. Somerset Maugham and Arthur Ransome were staff members of MI6.

According to The Guardian, Compton Mackenzie, Malcolm Muggeridge, and philosopher AJ "Freddie" Ayer were among the many exotic characters who agreed to spy for Britain, mainly during wartime, and have been revealed in the first authorised history of the MI6.

"MI6" was written by Keith Jeffrey, a history professor at Queen's University in Belfast who was granted access to unseen archives from the shadowy agency's creation in 1909 until the start of the Cold War in 1949.

While launching the book, Jeffery described the valuable spying activities of Wilfrid "Biffy" Dunderdale, MI6's man in Paris before and during the Second World War, who is said to be the model for James Bond.

Bill "Biffy" Dunderdale, who was reportedly a close friend of Ian Fleming, the author of the "James Bond" novels, is described as "a man of great charm and savoir faire" with a "penchant for pretty women and fast cars". These characteristics might have made him the model for 007, the book claims.

Jeffery further stated that there is no evidence to support recent claims that MI6 was involved in the assassination in 1916 of Rasputin, the "mad monk" who had insinuated himself into the Russian royal family.

"All I can tell is what I found in the archives ... If MI6 had a part in the killing of Rasputin, I would have expected to have found some trace of that," Jeffery added. (ANI)

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