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The Novotny Papers with author Lilian Pizzichini

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Join Lilian Pizzichini to discuss Mariella Novotny’s life, a life of intrigue, spying and crime

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It is almost impossible to summarise the extraordinary life of Mariella Novotny in a few paragraphs. In 1961 she was engaging in sexual relations with President John F. Kennedy and believed to be a Communist agent. FBI officers called their investigation ‘The Bow-Tie Case’. Two years later she was involved in the Profumo Affair. Then in the 1970s she began working undercover investigating police corruption in the Flying Squad. Her chief target was the author’s grandfather, Charlie Taylor, a London conman who had high-ranking officers in his deep pockets. Mariella brought them all down and was found dead in February 1983. She was in the process of writing her memoirs and Christine Keeler said she was convinced it was murder, most probably by the CIA. Mariella Novotny’s life was an intrigue, embroiled in some of the top spy and crime stories of the day and through Lilian’s biography emerges as an embodiment of the emergence of a radical sexual politics.

Event organised with the Friends of Carnegie Library

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