The only book to examine MI5' s secret evidence that high society portrait painter Philip de László was an Austrian spy in the First World War
Was Philip de Laszlo a secret agent and was MI5' s source really as they claimed? Did an enemy spy really paint the portrait of the young Princess Elizabeth?
In 1917, noted society portrait painter Philip de Laszlo, who painted such luminaries as the Pope, the Austrian emperor, King Edward VII and Prince Louis Battenberg, was subjected to a secret tribunal which interned him for trading with the enemy. At the outbreak of the First World War, de Laszlo had pulled strings to be naturalised as British, but in 1919 he was referred to a public committee to revoke his naturalisation. With the aid of skilled counsel, de Laszlo had the application overturned – however, newly discovered records show MI5 had evidence obtained from a top-secret source that alleged that he was supplying the enemy with important information on politics and industrial production. Crucially, the source' s anonymity prevented MI5 from presenting evidence to the tribunal, which has particular resonance in the contemporary War on Terror. In the only book to examine MI5' s secret evidence, Phil Tomaselli explores these allegations and reaches a shocking conclusion.
About the Author
Phil Tomaselli has had an interest in military matters, the First World War and the intelligence services for twenty-five years and has written books and articles on both subjects as well as on military and genealogical matters, including The Battle of the Lys 1918: Givenchy & the River Lawe (Pen & Sword, 2011) and the forthcoming Secret Guardians: MI5 Officers of the First World War.
• One of many important cases NOT mentioned in the MI5's official history
• Unpublished information from recently released papers
8pp b/w images