Smedley, Agnes

An American journalist and writer, Agnes Smedley was known for her autobiographical novel Daughter of Earth, as well as her pieces on various social issues. She also reported for several newspapers and periodicals during her career. After her divorce in 1920 and during World War I, she became interested in movements such as the Indian Independence. She eventually moved to Germany and in 1929, finished Daughter of Earth. A liberal German newspaper offered her a position as a correspondent in Shanghai, where she moved shortly after.

In Shanghai, Agnes began a close and romantic relationship with Soviet spymaster Richard Sorge. To this day, there is solid indication that she was associated with espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union as well. During her stay in Shanghai, she wrote for both the Frankfurter Zeitung, a German language newspaper, and the Manchester Guardian, a British newspaper. She helped the rebels in Xi'an make broadcasts in English during the Xi'an Incident, having been present for the entire event.

Agnes left the journalism field in 1937. In 1947, accusations of espionage causes her to leave the United States and take up residence in the United Kingdom until her death. A musical theatre production called "A Smedley of Revolution" was written after her life and happenings. She is also considered one of the "most prolific female spies of the 20th century" according to PBS.

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