When Claude Peri and Madeleine Bayard meet in the 1930s, they fall immediately and passionately in love. Soulmates and lovers, they work together on missions as spies for the French Government -- but on returning to Paris in 1939, they are appalled to see their countrymen flee the capital in terror as the German army advances. In an act of typical defiance, they escape -- not to capitulate, but to fight for the other side. Claude and Madeleine tells how, aboard their beloved ship SS Le Rhin, they abandon their allegiance to France and gradually pass from the French secret service into the heart of British Intelligence. Claude becomes a Royal Navy commander; Madeleine a cipher officer in the WRNS. After mutiny, mistrust, and against incredible odds, SS Le Rhin becomes HMS Fidelity; in 1942, Claude -- with Madeleine at his side -- commands HMS Fidelity on her most dangerous mission yet, heading back to the Japanese-occupied Far East on what they anticipate will be their final campaign . . . Full of tantalizing adventure, taking the reader from Hanoi to Calcutta, the Mediterranean to the midwinter Atlantic Ocean, Claude and Madeleine combines social history, politics, travel and biography in a moving and extraordinary true story.
Edward Marriott is the author of The Lost Tribe, which was shortlisted for the 1996 Thomas Cook Award and for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Wild Shore and The Plague Race. He lives in London with his wife and two sons.