The central figure of Hero on Three Continents is Sir Henry Brown, born 1901, into a prominent Anglo-Jewish family. Henry's two elder brothers were killed in action on the Western Front during World War I, an experience that had an immeasurable impact on young Henry.After leaving Eton in 1919, Henry, too young for military service in the Great War, took a first-class honors degree in oriental languages at Oxford University. He then pursued a military career at Sandhurst, and afterwards served on the staff of Lord Reading, Viceroy in India. While in India in 1926, he married Henrietta, the younger daughter of the 11th Duke of Shropshire. After service in India, Henry was posted to Kenya and was awarded the Military Cross for a heroic defusement of explosives in the African hillside. He served in the War Office and as an instructor at England's famed military academy, Sandhurst, until he was posted to Berlin in 1935 as military attaché, under the covert direction of Winston Churchill, Chaim Weizmann, and the Marquess of Reading. This was a difficult assignment -- to say the least, for a Jew during Hitler's rise in Germany. He witnessed contagious anti-Semitism after the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws. His wife threw herself enthusiastically into the upper echelons of the Nazi hierarchy, greatly influenced by the force of its propaganda and ideology. In her efforts to foster a better understanding between Nazi Germany and England, and encouraged by her German friends and British sympathizers, such as Sir Oswald and Lady Mosley and Unity Mitford, she distanced herself from her husband. This culminated with her affair with a senior member of the German Foreign Office. Henry Brown and his wife separated, She remained in Germany with their two children. Brown, at his own request, was transferred to the British Embassy in Paris. Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, Henry re-joined his regiment and saw active service in North Africa and
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Stephen Maitland-Lewis, a full-time writer, divides his time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs. An attorney and former international merchant banker, he left London to become the general manager of an investment bank in Kuwait. Subsequently, he held senior positions on Wall Street before moving to California in 1991 where he owned a luxury hotel and a world-renowned awardwinning restaurant. He is a jazz aficionado and an art and theater buff. He has tasted what life has to offer. He has seen up close the connection between wealth and power. He has made and lost fortunes, leaving him with the heart and wisdom that makes him capable of writing such a fascinating character as Henry Brown in a convincing, provocative and affectionate style.
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