Clare Mulley

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Clare Mulley (born 31 July 1969) is a British biographer, known for documenting the life of Eglantyne Jebb, the founder of Save the Children, and Krystyna Skarbek a.k.a. Christine Granville the first woman to work as a special agent for Britain during the Second World War.

Mulley received the Daily Mail Biographers' Club Prize for The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb (Oneworld, 2009). All royalties from the book are donated to Save the Children UK.

In 2012 her biography of World War II SOE agent Krystyna Skarbek, a.k.a. Christine Granville, The Spy Who Loved: the Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville, Britain's First Female Special Agent of World War II, was published by Macmillan.[1] It has since been published in the USA (St Martin's 2013), Poland (Swiat Ksiazki, 2013), Hungary and China. In 2013 Mulley was presented with Poland's Bene Merito award by the Foreign Minister of Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski.


Clare Mulley was born in 1969 in Luton, England. In 2006 she graduated from the University of London with a distinction for her master's degree in Social and Cultural History.[2] Her dissertation was on Affection or Affectation: The Role and Rhetoric of Maternalism in the Development of Women's Social Action in Victorian Britain.[3] She lives in Essex, England, with her family.[citation needed]

Mulley has worked with Save the Children and Sightsavers International, raising charitable donations on behalf of the organisations. She has served as a member of the advisory board of the World Development Movement, a membership organisation in the United Kingdom which campaigns on issues of global justice and development in southern countries identified according to the global north-south divide. She was most recently a trustee of the national charity, Standing Together against Domestic Violence.

Mulley is a member of such groups as the Historical Writers Association, Women's History Network, Royal Society of Literature, Biographer's Club, Society of Authors, English PEN, Fawcett Society, Writers Against Racism and National Secular Society.[2]

Mulley reviews non-fiction for the Spectator and History Today magazines, and occasionally writes for publications such as the Telegraph. She often appears on radio and television for the BBC and Channel 5.

She is also a seasoned public speaker and literary chair, with extensive experience making presentations and lecturing in academic conferences, literary festivals and museums throughout the UK and in Poland, including at the Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum, Special Forces Club and Warsaw Uprising Museum.


Eglantyne Jebb[edit]

In 1999, while working with Save the Children, Mulley was introduced to the life of Victorian-era British social reformer Eglantyne Jebb, and became intrigued with her life and career.[3] Her biography, The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb.[4]

Jebb was an unlikely children's champion; she privately confessed that she was not fond of children, once referring to them as "the little wretches" and laughing that "the dreadful idea of closer acquaintance never entered my mind".[5] She never married.[6]

Jebb had soon won huge public support, as well as the backing of celebrities such as George Bernard Shaw, who wrote "I have no enemies under the age of seven". Five years later, she wrote the pioneering statement of children's human rights that has since evolved into the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most universally accepted human-rights instrument in history. "It is not impossible to save the children of the world", she wrote. "It is only impossible if we make it so by our refusal to attempt it."[citation needed]

The biography was published in 2009, to coincide with the 90th anniversary of Save the Children and the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.[7] The book has received positive reviews in print and electronic media across the English-language world.[5][6][8] Then-UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown endorsed the book, calling it a "truly brilliant book".[9] Reportedly, Brown read the book while away on holiday and was moved to offer the unsolicited review.[9]

In 2007, Mulley was honoured as the recipient of the Daily Mail Biographers' Club Prize for The Woman Who Saved the Children.[4] As noted on the copyright page of the book, all of the author's royalties are donated to Save the Children's international programmes.[8]

Christine Granville[edit]

In 2012 Macmillan published Mulley's biography, The Spy Who Loved: the Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville, Britain's First Female Special Agent of World War II.[1] Reviewers have described Mulley's account of the spy's life as thrilling.Nigel Jones[10] It received excellent reviews in the British, American, Canadian and Polish press.[1][11][12]

The biography has now been published in Britain, the USA, Poland, Hungary and China. Universal Studios have optioned the book and in 2017 Angelina Jolie expressed interest in the project. [1]

Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg[edit]

Mulley's most recent work, "The Women Who Flew for Hitler" is published by Macmillan in the UK and St Martin's Press in the USA, in 2017.


Mulley reviews and writes for various publications, including The Spectator, History Today, and The Telegraph.[4]



  1. ^ a b c Clare Heal, "Glamorous Wartime Spy Who Loved Life... and Dashing Men", Home of the Daily and Sunday Express, 8 July 2012; accessed 25 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b "About the Author". Clare Mulley. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Interview". Clare Mulley. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Clare Mulley: Books, Biogs, Audiobooks, Discussions at". Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Home of the Daily and Sunday Express". 19 March 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Peter Lewis (30 April 2009). "Children saved by a woman who didn't like them". London, UK: Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Radio 4 Woman's Hour". BBC. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Evenings". 3 June 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Simon Hoggart (12 March 2010). "Simon Hoggart's week: EU? It's just an abusive imps' tea party". London, UK: Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Spy Who Loved: review". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. 3 July 2012. 
  11. ^ Review of The Spy Who Loved, The Spectator; accessed 25 June 2014.
  12. ^ Ben Macintyre"The Spy Who Loved". The New York Times. 19 July 2013. 

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