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Maugham's Giulia Lazzari, Chandralal and Virendranath Chattopadhyaya

Famous English writer Somerset Maugham's short spy story Giulia Lazzari was based on a fictionalized account of British Intelligence agency's year 1915 attempt to get rid of Virendranath Chattopadhyay (nickname “Chatto”).
Virendranath Chattopadhyaya(1880 — September 2, 1937, Moscow), worked subversively from distant European shores like Germany and France for Indian Independence.

The report ended as follows: C, has a wife in India and two children. He is not known to have anything to do with women. He neither drinks nor smokes. he is said to be honest. Considerable sums of money have passed through his hands and there has never been any question as to his not having made a proper(!) use of them. He has undoubted courage and is a hard worker. He is said to pride himself on keeping his word.

Ashenden returned the document to R.
'Well?'
'A fanatic.' Ashenden thought there was about the man something rather romantic and attractive, but he knew that R. did not want any nonsense of that sort from him. 'he looks like a very dangerous fellow.'
Centered around events of World War 1, Virendranath was given the name "Chandralal", a German Indian Agent. Maugham, who actually worked as an agent in British Intelligence department during World War 1, portrayed himself as agent Ashenden. The story revolved around Ashenden's attempt to capture Chandra Lal by luring him to France using latter's Mata Hari-ish ex-mistress as the bait. Like most Maugham stories this one also has an ending with a twist.

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While working on the post about Virendranath Chattopadhyaya's younger poet-actor- dramatist brother Harindranath, I realized have Giulia Lazzari with me. So I jolted down this supplementary post.

The story can be found in Volume 3 of Somerset Maugham's "Collected Short Stories" published by Pan Books. This volume extensively dealt was the adventures of agent Ashenden.

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