Publication: ‘William Le Queux, the Zeppelin menace and the Invisible Hand’

Critical Survey has just published an early access version of my peer-reviewed article 'William Le Queux, the Zeppelin menace and the Invisible Hand' -- that's right, no subtitle! -- here. Here's the abstract:

In contrast to William Le Queux's pre-1914 novels about German spies and invasion, his wartime writing is much less well known. Analysis of a number of his works, predominantly non-fictional, written between 1914 and 1918 shows that he modified his perception of the threat posed by Germany in two ways. Firstly, because of the lack of a German naval invasion, he began to emphasise the more plausible danger of aerial attack. Secondly, because of the incompetent handling of the British war effort, he began to believe that an 'Invisible Hand' was responsible, consisting primarily of naturalised Germans. Switching form from fiction to non-fiction made his writing more persuasive, but he was not able to sustain this and he ended the war with less influence than he began it.

Unfortunately the publishing agreement doesn't allow me to upload a green open access version of the article for 24 months, but it's based on a post I wrote here a few years ago about Le Queux's wartime spyhunting in Soho and Surrey, so you can get a flavour by reading that. The expanded version includes more of Le Queux's conspiracy theorising, placing it in the context of his wartime literary output and the evolution of 'Hidden Hand' conspiracy theories on the British far right in the First World War.

And if that's not enough Le Queux for you, my article is part of a double special issue on Le Queux, edited by Ailise Bulfin and Harry Wood (the driving forces behind The Invasion Network). The rest of the first issue is also available online and includes articles by Bulfin and Wood, Roger T. Stearn (a reprint of the best, but difficult to find, overview of Le Queux's life and career), Antony Taylor, and A. Michael Matin. Publishing in a literature journal is something a bit different for me -- thanks, Ailise! -- but it's also a natural continuation of my BJMH article on early-war enemy within panics. Plus it does have Zeppelins!

Ratio of articles in the British Newspaper Archive containing the phrase ‘Le Queux’ to total number of issues, 1890–1932

Bonus content: a somewhat unnecessary figure I created for the article showing the ratio of articles in the British Newspaper Archive containing the phrase 'Le Queux' to the total number of issues for each year between 1890 and 1932. So now you know.

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2 thoughts on “Publication: ‘William Le Queux, the Zeppelin menace and the Invisible Hand’

  1. Shrike58

    What?! No subtitles?! Next you'll be telling us that there's no Spam.

    In all seriousness this looks interesting, particularly the "invisible hand" angle.

  2. Post author

    I know, it felt very weird! So weird that for my next two articles I've reverted to the much more comfortable 'title: subtitle' format. Though at least I seem to have got past the need to use a quotation for the title...

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