Clare Mulley

Award-winning historian,
author and broadcaster

Photo: J.P. Masclet photography

Clare Mulley is an award-winning public historian, author and broadcaster, primarily focused on female experience during the Second World War.

Hello and welcome to my website.

Here you can see all my book news, and read the articles and book-reviews I write for the Spectator, BBC History Magazine, Telegraph, TLS and other publications. There’s stuff on when I am doing TV and radio, and on some lovely podcasts and in various museums and village halls! Please come and say hello if you come to one of my talks, or just get in touch 🙂

Happy browsing, Clare

Clare is currently writing Agent Zo: The Untold Story of Fearless Second World War resistance Fighter, Elżbieta Zawacka, a biography of the only woman in the ‘Silent Unseen’, the Polish elite special forces trained in country houses across Britain. To be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in May 2024. Previous books include the award-winning The Woman Who Saved the Children, on Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children; The Spy Who Loved about the remarkable Polish-born British special agent Krystyna Skarbek aka Christine Granville; and The Women Who Flew for Hitler, which tells the story of Nazi Germany’s only two female test pilots, one of whom tried to save Hitler’s life, while the other tried to kill him. Clare’s books are widely translated, and all are under option for film or TV.

Clare has written for various newspapers and magazines including the Telegraph, Mirror and Mail, History Today, BBC History and Britain at War magazines. She reviews for the Spectator, BBC History and TLS among other publications, and has served as a judge for the Historical Writers Association and Biographers Club book prizes.

Recent TV includes several history series for Channel 5, More 4, Sky, and the History Channel, as well as two series of the BBC’s Rise of the Nazis. Also guest spots on the BBC’s Newsnight, The One Show, Songs of Praise, D-Day 70 coverage, BBC World News, Sky News, ITV News etc. A regular on radio and podcasts, Clare has contributed to the BBC R4’s Today Programme, Woman’s Hour and PM, as well as Times Radio and many others. She is a favourite on Dan Snow’s History Hit, James Holland and Al Murray’s We Have Ways of Making You Talk and many other pods.

A popular public speaker, Clare has given a TEDx talk at Stormont, and spoken at the Houses of Parliament, Royal Albert Hall, Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum and British Library, as well as many festivals, military intelligence colleges, schools, universities, private members clubs, bookshops and airfields!

Clare and is a recipient of the Bene Merito cultural honour of the Republic of Poland, and the Daily Mail Biographers Club Prize.

Agent Zo

AGENT Zo tells the incredible story of Second World War resistance fighter Elżbieta Zawacka, sometimes known as Elizabeth Watson but more often as ‘Zo’. The only woman to reach London as an emissary of the Polish Home Army command, Zo became the only female member of the Polish elite Special Forces, the ‘Silent Unseen’, who were trained in the British countryside. In 1943, she also became the only woman to parachute to Nazi-occupied Poland. There, while being hunted by the Gestapo, she took a key role in the largest organised act of defiance against Nazi Germany, the Warsaw Uprising. After the war, the Soviet-backed communist regime not only imprisoned Zo, but also ensured that her remarkable story remained hidden for over forty years. Now, through new archival research and exclusive interviews with people who knew and fought alongside her, Clare Mulley brings this forgotten heroine back to life.

The Women Who Flew for Hitler

The Women Who Flew for Hitler tells the story of Nazi Germany’s only female test pilots, one of whom tried to save Hitler, the other to kill him. Hanna Reitsch flew giant gliders, rocket planes and even a manned prototype cruise missile – the V1 flying bomb. A fanatical Nazi, in the last days of the war she tried to rescue Hitler from the bunker. Her nemesis, Melitta von Stauffenberg, engineer and test pilot for the Stuka dive bombers, had Jewish ancestry. In July 1944 she supported the famous bomb plot to kill Hitler… Not surprisingly, although they did not know all of each other’s secrets, the two women hated each other. Optioned for TV.

The Spy Who Loved

The Spy Who Loved brings to life Polish-born, part Jewish, Countess Krystyna Skarbek, aka Christine Granville, the first woman to serve Britain as a special agent in the Second World War. In 1941, the vital intelligence she smuggled across borders prompted Churchill to call her his ‘favourite spy’. But it was her service in occupied-France, in 1944, that make her legendary, including single-handedly securing the defection of a strategic German garrison, and saving the lives of many of her male colleagues. The Spy Who Loved, for which Clare was decorated with Poland’s national honour, the Bene Merito, has been optioned for film.

The Woman Who Saved the Children

The Woman Who Saved the Children Eglantyne Jebb was arrested in Trafalgar Square for campaigning to help the starving children of Britain’s former enemies. In 1919, few in London were sympathetic. Yet within weeks the audacious Jebb had secured the first donation to her ‘Save the Children’ fund from the public prosecutor at her trial, and another from the British PM’s wife. Never fond of individual children, ‘the little wretches’ as she once famously called them, Jebb was an unconventional woman, driven by passion and compassion. The Woman Who Saved the Children won the Daily Mail Biographers Club Prize, and all author royalties are donated to Save the Children. Under option for film.