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Von Ripper's Odyssey: War, Resistance, Art and Love


When a mysterious dossier of letters and photographs was discovered at an abandoned Spanish villa, the author embarked upon a passionate journey to resurrect its owner in this first comprehensive biography. Lauded by luminaries of his epoch, Baron Rudolph von Ripper (1905-60) was an Austrian aristocrat and international wanderer with the temerity to resist the tyrannical Third Reich - both as a soldier and an artist - whilst the world was apparently coming to an end. Ripper's remarkable depictions of human beings under duress reveal an artistic talent that stands comparison with his contemporaries George Grosz, Otto Dix, and Käthe Kollwitz.


During the Cold War Ripper acted as a CIA agent and settled in Mallorca, his ‘haven of peace and beauty’, closely pursued by his wartime enemies.


Sian Mackay lived in Egypt and the USA before returning to her native Scotland as a freelance journalist with the Glasgow Herald and Times Educational Supplement. Later she divided her time between Scotland and Spain and wrote several highly praised books:


‘A terrific read, full of haunting images and beautifully paced.’

Elspeth Barker


‘Blends a biographer’s quest for historical truth with a novelist’sinsight and imagination... strikingly original.’

Jim Crumley

Sian Mackay Buy