This article presents what is widely considered to be the best biographical account of the life of the controversial popular author, journalist and amateur spy, William Le Queux. The article originally appeared in Soldiers of the Queen, the journal of the Victorian Military Society, and is reproduced here with their kind permission in order to bring it before a new audience. It documents Le Queux's life, from the little that is known about his early career through to his high-profile involvement in defence scaremongering before and during the First World War to his subsequent lapse into postwar obscurity.
Roger T. Stearn, MA (Oxon), PhD (London), FRHistS, was until retirement a research editor at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and is also the reviews editor of the Victorian Military Society. As well as writing widely on a range of military history topics, he is the author of ‘The Mysterious Mr Le Queux: War Novelist, Defence Publicist and Counterspy’, widely considered the best biographic study of William Le Queux's unusual life. Roger has also been a regular contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and has recently been active in marking the centenary of the First World War.