The Musuem
Floor Plan

The Dennis Wheatley 'Museum' - Dennis Wheatley in World War II: a supplement

The first phase - while continuing to write his novels, DW helps MI5 by providing a cover occupation for one of their double agents

'Fritzi' Gartner a.k.a. 'Agent Gelatine'

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Maxwell Knight writes to DW to say that he is bringing his new double agent round to meet him

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Maxwell Knight instructs DW on what to say to the British Museum about 'Agent Gelatine'

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A page of Gartner's research at the British Museum for DW, which proved useful for his later war work, and for his novels set in World War Two

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As discussed in Room 8, with the outbreak of war, DW thought his best contribution as a man now in his forties would be to write propaganda for the newly created Ministry of Information; but they never replied to is offers (and he was far from alone as a famous author in having his offers of help ignored) and having tried his best by giving DW a reference, Maxwell Knight could only suggest that DW continue to write novels until something 'better' turned up-which is exactly what DW did.

Maxwell Knight - a very senior figure in MI5, and arguably the inspiration for Ian Fleming's 'M' - did however find more covert uses for his friend. He used DW to support and give cover employment to one of his prettiest double agents, 'Fritzi' Gartner.

Incredibly, some of 'Uncle Max's' correspondence with DW from this time still survives in a private collection.

Here a sample can be seen by the public for what is perhaps the first time ever.

The way in which Fritzi Gartner, or 'Agent Gelatine', fed false information to the Germans in the run-up to the D-Day landings can be seen later in this Exhibition.

References : 'Drink and Ink' Chapters 15-22 and 'Intermezzo' pp 227-8; in particular pp 167-168 on 'Fritzi' Gatrner.

The Devil is a Gentleman Chapters 30-32.

The Museum, Room 8

Provenance : Maxwell Knight letters and Gartner typescript: Private Collection