Owen Lattimore, Soviet & British Spy?
Feminist, writer, H.G. Wells’ lover during both his Stalin and Mussolini flirtations, Rebecca West was visited by Britain’s MI5 when they were nosing around British threads of Whittaker Chambers’ espionage charges
Documents on the encounter have just been released by the British National Archives, and the saucy scribbler does not disappoint.
As the London Review of Books blog alerted us, West blew past what the spooks cared about to get to her personal obsessions:
“Miss West’s parting shot to me was that she supposed Owen Lattimore had been a British agent as well as a Soviet one. She gave me a knowing look, not expecting me to reply to her remark. Miss West seems to be unduly influenced by personal considerations. She is rather pompous and clearly regards herself as the high priestess of Anti-Communism. Already she feels a slight persecution mania as a result of the crusade she has launched”