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Tomorrow to Be Brave: A Memoir of the Only Woman Ever to Serve in the French Foreign Legion
Contributor(s): Travers, Susan (Author), Holden, Wendy (With)

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ISBN: 0743200020     ISBN-13: 9780743200028
Publisher: Touchstone Books
OUR PRICE: $18.66  

Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: June 2007

Annotation: The only woman to serve in the French Foreign Legion describes how in 1940, she abandoned her privileged world to join the Free French, her work as driver for--and lover of--General Koenig of the Foreign Legion, and her heroism during the siege of Bir Hakeim and the battle against Rommel's forces. 30,000 first printing.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Biography & Autobiography | Military
- Biography & Autobiography | Medical (incl. Patients)
- Biography & Autobiography | Women
Dewey: B
Physical Information: 0.72" H x 6" W x 9" (1.04 lbs) 304 pages
- Chronological Period - 1940's
- Chronological Period - 20th Century
- Cultural Region - British Isles
- Sex & Gender - Feminine
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
Susan Travers dreamed of an adventurous life, but had little chance of it until the Second World War destroyed her cafe society world and freed her from the bonds of her privileged but stifling upbringing. Leaving her peripatetic, party-girl lifestyle behind her, she drank a last cocktail at her friend Gladys's chateau, locked the door behind her and walked into history. Here for the first time, the life story of the only woman to fight for the French Legion is one that few dare to even imagine. Born to a life of privilege, Susan spends her childhood longing for excitement. After being expelled from finishing school for being too interested in men, she signed up with the Free French in 1940 and sailed to Africa where she traveled the country fighting the war and taking on lovers, eventually becoming a driver to General Koenig of the Foreign Legion. He was to become her lover and the man for whom she would risk everything. A military leader of Olympian detach, he was in private a sensitive soul, sharing poetry with Susan, including the piece from which the title of the book is taken, Tomorrow To Be Brave. He was also the man who helped change the face of Rommel's North African campaign. At the great siege of Bir Hakeim, the general's troops were surrounded for fifteen days by Rommel's Panzer division. Susan refused to leave the General's side and evetually, at the wheel of his car, led the convoy of vehicles and men across the minefields as part of a daring mass breakout. Hailed as the heroine of the night, Susan was rewarded with the love and loyalty of the legion with whom she served as its only official female member ever. In 1997 in a simple ceremony attended by the few remainingsurvivors of the corps with which she fought, the Legion presented Susan Travers, now a frail 88 year old, with the Legion d'Honneur--their highest award for bravery. She lives quietly to this day in a modest nursing home outside Paris where only a very few know what circuitous and fantastic a path led her there--until now.

Contributor Bio(s): Holden, Wendy: - Wendy Holden is the author of more than thirty books, nine of which were international bestsellers. She also worked as a journalist for eighteen years.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2001 April #2)
Englishwoman Susan Travers, aka "La Miss," now 91, was the only woman ever to serve officially with the French Foreign Legion. Travers's story begins with her lonely girlhood, spent wishing she were a boy and yearning for her military father's approval. In her late teens and 20s during Europe's decadent '20s Travers rebelled, hitting every baccarat table and aristocrat's bed she could find. When war broke out in 1939, she was ready to live out her girlhood fantasies of exotic travel and heroic service. Joining de Gaulle's Free French, she endured the mandatory nursing training and in North Africa found the work she wanted, as a front-line driver. Eventually, she became Gen. Pierre Koenig's personal driver and secret lover. She emerged a decorated hero of the bloody Bir Hakeim campaign in Libya, often referred to as the Verdun of WWII. Her (married) general's career also advanced too far for their affair to continue. In her despair, Travers joined up and became a true Legionnaire, escaping her unhappiness by immersing herself in the world of warfare. Still, "je ne regrette rien" is the message here, which may be why this prefeminist figure sounds so inspiring to modern ears. (June) Forecast: With enough review attention and the right endorsements, this action-packed romance could find its way onto many women's shelves. Its historical interest should attract students, and the saga of a woman fighting to live on her own terms could draw reading- group interest. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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