A Secret Well Kept: The Untold Story of Sir Vernon Kell, Founder of MI5, is the biography of a man who rendered an indispensable service to his country, the details of which are only now being uncovered. The narrative comes from the personal journals of his wife, Constance. The story begins with a brief overview of Kell’s childhood before detailing his studies in college. When his gift for languages became apparent, he was offered a government position which eventually led to his becoming the founder and director of Britain’s premier counter-intelligence agency, a post he held for thirty-one years. Beginning with the Boxer Rebellion and culminating in the middle of World War II, the Kells witness an incredible amount of history, and Constance documents her husband’s illustrious career and accomplishments vividly.
A Secret Well Kept is an incredible eyewitness account of extraordinary events. Mrs. Kell’s journal gives the reader a personal perspective of her husband’s work in China, Russia, and Great Britain. Her commentary is a fascinating description of the people and the societies encountered throughout their service. This reader wishes there had been more detail on the cloak-and-dagger aspect of Kell’s career. However, A Secret Well Kept is an intriguing look at history through the eyes of those who shepherded Great Britain through two World Wars and provided pivotal intelligence. Sir Vernon’s service should not be kept secret any longer but told for generations to come.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.