As a journalist for the Evening Chronicle, Oxford Mail and Daily Mail, there would always be a limit to how honest Olga Franklin could be as she documented the first half of the twentieth century. Her letters to her sister Beryl, however, written between 1932 and 1965, are subject to no such censorship and reveal the colourful stories behind the headlines of a cut-throat Fleet Street in the years surrounding the Second World War.
Olga’s boundless energy takes her around the world for a scoop, from picturesque Warsaw in the days before the Nazi invasion, to police-state Moscow following Stalin’s death, above Marilyn Monroe’s thinning hair, under an eccentric band of editors from the monarch-obsessed to the Machiavellian and suicidal. She is found shambling along Park Lane with a self-loathing Groucho Marx, on Hitler’s balcony and in Prince Philip’s hotel room, and manages to land herself in deep professional water with The Beatles and Harold Pinter, not to mention Mussolini.
Olga herself is revealed to be something of a paradox: a strong, determined, professional woman battling in a male-dominated world, but submissive, sensitive and endlessly searching for the governance of a strong man. This she eventually finds in the arms of a married man and an affair that will span decades following a string of steamy romances.