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Whether for love, country or just a thrill, women from both sides rose up as spies during World War One. Seductive and cunning, they were instrumental in shaping the outcome of the war, provided that they weren’t caught before they could share their information. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
|October 31, 1915||Edith Cavell’s death and resultant feminist argument.|
|June 4, 1916||The broken plan of a broken-armed woman.|
|December 13, 1917||Baroness Zollner arrested in Annapolis, sending area into uproar.|
|January 25, 1918||Thrilling experiences of a Maude Muller who ran down German plotters.|
|February 13, 1918||The love tricks of the woman spy.|
|April 7, 1918||Queens of the spy world whose intrigues sway the fate of nations.|
|June 2, 1918||“Mme. Storch - Vampire and German Spy” column begins.|
|June 11, 1918||The Story of Felice Schmidt.|
|June 23, 1918||Olga von Marx reveals her life as German spy in an on-going column.|
|May 16, 1919||The two belated funerals of hero-spy Cavell; Cavell celebrated.|
|October 21, 1919||Edith Cavell’s life made into an opera.|
|September 25, 1920||Women spies are selfish.|
|April 20, 1920||Cavell memorial unveiled. (While not a spy as we generally see them, newspapers and popular culture of the time often referred to her as a “spy-nurse,” or the “nurse who was executed by the Germans as a spy.” Controversy as to whether she was or was not a spy still exists.)|
|July 2, 1922||Mistinguett's heroic sacrifice for love and France.|