On the night of the 22 September 1943, Pearl Witherington, a twenty-nine-year-old British agent of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), was parachuted from a Halifax bomber into Occupied France. Pearl had a dual mission: to fight for her beloved, broken France and to find her lost love. Pearl's lover was a Parisian parfumier turned soldier, Henri Cornioley, who had been taken prisoner while serving in the French Logistics Corps and subsequently escaped from his German POW camp.
Agent Pearl Witherington's wartime record is unique and heroic. As the only woman agent in the history of SOEs in France to have run a network, she became a fearless and legendary guerrilla leader organizing, arming and training 3,800 Resistance fighters. Probably the greatest female organizer of armed maquisards in France, the woman whom her young troops called 'Ma Mere', Pearl lit the fires of Resistance in Central France so that Churchill's famous order to 'set Europe ablaze' finally came to pass. Pearl's story takes us from her harsh, impoverished childhood in Paris, to the lonely forests and farmhouses of the Loir-et-Cher where she would become a true 'warrior queen'.