Why subscribe?

Hi, I’m Alexander Rose, who wrote Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring, the basis for the AMC drama series, Turn: Washington's Spies.

My other books encompass the medieval Anglo-Scottish Wars (Kings in the North: The House of Percy in British History, 1066-1485), a technological history of firearms (American Rifle: A Biography), an analysis of what it’s like to be in combat (Men of War: The American Experience of Battle at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima), and the story of the Hindenburg versus Pan Am as they struggled for mastery of the air during the Golden Age of aviation—Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men’s Epic Duel to Rule the World.

My latest is The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy, which was published by Mariner in December 2022—an amazingly convenient time of year for those of you searching for the ideal gift for friends and family.

My next one’s on the hunt for a World War Two U-boat.

You can find out more about these books by visiting my website, www.alexrose.com, but as you can perhaps tell from Washington’s Spies and The Lion and the Fox, one enduring interest of mine is the world of Spionage, that historical habitat of spies and secret agents, adventurers and informers, ciphers and tradecraft.

I particularly enjoy excavating cases of historical espionage involving the obscure, dubious, or eccentric characters who once plied their trade in the darker and stranger nooks of the secret world—and so that’s what this Substack is about.1

So, please do join me on my visits into Spionage by subscribing to the official Alexander Rose, accept-no-substitutes, full spectrum, gleamingly 21st century newsletter and website. (I mean, let’s face it, it’s free, so what do you have to lose?)


Fair warning, I’m not going to cover intelligence today; there are plenty of newsletters that do that already. I’m much more intrigued by, say, the 16th-century Venetian Secret Service than by what’s happened this century.

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A newsletter about historical espionage and Ye Olde Worlde spy stories.


Despite his being America's 78th Most Famous Historian, none of Alexander Rose's books has ever won an award, a consequence perhaps of all those one-star Amazon reviews. Still, some people like them.