MI6 Spies Wallowed In Edwardian Nudes, Covert Blunders, Champagne

09/21/2010 01:06 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • George Walden Bloomberg

The reputation of intelligence men for high living, burnished by Ian Fleming's James Bond, was often deserved. One of Cumming's earliest agents demanded a champagne allowance. Beautiful female spies were deployed from the start to lure enemies into spilling their secrets. And, yes, agents really did conceal messages, jewels or suicide tablets in signet rings and the like.

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