Monthly Archives: September 2016

Mata Hari – The Original Femme Fatale



Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle on 7th August 1876, in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. Margaretha had a lavish childhood, she was spoiled with beautiful dresses and her own small carriage. All of this ended when she was 13, as her father went bankrupt and soon after her parents divorced. Her tragedies did not end there though, as her mother died a few years later in 1891. Although her father had remarried, his new start at a family was unsuccessful, and Margaretha moved to nearby Sneek to live with her godfather. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Illyas: Character Changes in The Man from UNCLE



Anyone who has seen the ‘60s spy show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the 2015 film version will tell you that, although the film is faithful to the show, there’s one major difference between the two. They both take place in the ‘60s during the Cold War. They both involve a Soviet spy named Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum in the original; Armie Hammer in the film) teaming up with an American spy named Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn first; Henry Cavill now). Both involve wild and somewhat madcap adventures, pretty girls, handsome men, shiny cars, spy gadgets, and a middle-aged British gent named Mr. Waverly who runs the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Continue reading

The Rosenbergs



What makes people become traitors? It’s understandable when people defect a country that’s fallen under a corrupt government and want to seek a better life away from tyranny and chaos. When Europe fell under the control of Hitler and the Nazis during World War II, those that could leave Nazi occupied countries did leave.

However, it’s difficult to understand why citizens would betray a first world country like the United States. America is wealthy, with a high quality of life and endless opportunities; many people try to immigrate here. Continue reading

The Bourne Popularity



As part of the action genre, spy films have long since reached the point where they evolved their own tropes and formulas. Beginning in the 1960’s, the covert operative who likes his vodka martinis shaken, not stirred, dominated the big screen. Bond jumpstarted more espionage on screen, though most of it appeared on the small one, with  I Spy, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, even the spoof Get Smart.

A trend toward psychological thrillers in the spy genre appeared in theatres in the ’70s. It wasn’t until the ’90s that Bond got noteworthy company in feature films when Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels got their first adaptation with The Hunt for Red October and Mission: Impossible transitioned to the silver screen. While Ryan was more of an Everyman workaday CIA analyst, both Bond and Ethan Hunt established that spies traveled all over the world, accomplished daring feats of physical ability, and stopped the bad guy, often with a beautiful woman nearby. Then Jason Bourne arrived in multiplexes and mostly adhered to those conventions and feel fresh at the same time. The Bourne franchise distinguishes itself with an intensely personal story and authentic action sequences. Continue reading

Exemplary Courage: Count von Stauffenberg



A devout Catholic nobleman and German patriot would be the least likely candidate to assassinate the world’s most evil dictator.

Born Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg in the eastern part of Swabia, his noble roots extended back many generations. Well educated, Claus adored literature, especially poetry. Poetry involving religious themes would later inspire him to act on his conscience. He followed his family’s tradition and entered the military. He married a loving woman named Nina, and they had five children. The future seemed bright for the young Stauffenberg family. Continue reading

Derringers & Fedoras: Spies, Assassins, and Private Eyes


Daring escapades. Narrow escapes. Car chases. International espionage.

From books to movies to television shows, the high-risk life of spies, assassins, and private eyes intrigues and entertains us, decade after decade. From Jason Bourne to the real life spies in the American Revolution, this issue of Femnista introduces you to some old favorites, some flashy newcomers, and hopefully, a few stories you’ve never heard before. So buckle up, it’s going to be a fast ride.


Exemplary Courage: Count von Stauffenberg

The Bourne Popularity

The Rosenbergs

A Tale of Two Illyas: Character Changes in The Man From UNCLE

Mata Hari: The Original Femme Fatale

The King’s Dagger: Sir Thomas Lovell

Trixie Belden

The Maltese Falcon

The Slave Who Spied For Freedom

Archer: Espionage Adult Animation At Its Finest