The heroic then twenty-two-year-old woman on the original cover of this book photographed at Love Field, Texas, in 1943 is the incredible Florene Miller (later Watson). Florene Miller was born on December 7, 1920. She turned twenty-one on the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. When writing my Virtues’ stories, I very purposefully shied away from too much mention of specific historical events surrounding the war. I had no desire to tred on true history and sought only to create a world with my characters doing their things in the fictional towns I crafted. However, I did have a very significant scene in this book that pertained to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In a way, that was my little nod to Florene.
Tag: womens history month
There are dozens of documented cases of female physicians—working on both sides of the conflict—but there are very few detailed stories about any of them, and I found no detailed stories about any women who worked covertly as a physician. Likewise, while members of the International Red Cross performed near-miraculous acts of heroism and suffered …
On September 22, 1943, Pearl parachuted into Occupied France. She was not yet thirty years old. She assumed the identity of a French national named Pauline and the codename, Wrestler. In wireless transmissions back to England, she was “Marie.” In Occupied France, she worked as a courier for Maurice Southgate. She often traveled by train, and as a way to disguise her intent, carried with her “pro-Nazi” French magazines. Henri’s father owned a cosmetics company named Isabelle Lancray, and Pearl had paperwork that provided a cover story of a cosmetic saleswoman to help explain why she traveled so much.
Selected for the cover of the first edition of this book is the incredible Yolande Betbeze (ne Fox) who may be most well known for her association with baseball great Joe Dimaggio, her marriage to movie tycoon Matthew Fox until his death, her activism in the 1960s, and for taking the Miss America crown in 1950. While not exactly a British housewife with “island blood,” the publisher felt that this woman’s indomitable spirit strongly represented the fictional character of Charity.
Two of the British officers, Captain P. R. Reid and Captain Rupert Barry, worked together to create a code that Barry then wrote in a letter to his wife, Dodo, upon whom the fictional Dotty, code-named Charity, is based. The real-life heroine, Dodo Barry, was a highly intelligent woman who could solve the complicated Times of London crossword puzzle in mere minutes. Captain Rupert Barry doted upon his beloved wife and, what’s more, he deeply appreciated and respected her keen mind. He felt more than confident in his wife’s abilities to crack the code they devised.