Leopold Maxse

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Leopold Maxse
Full name Leopold James Maxse
Country (sports)  United Kingdom
Born 11 November 1864
London, England
Died 22 January 1932 (aged 67)
London, England
Grand Slam Singles results
Wimbledon 1R (1883)

Leopold "Leo" James Maxse (11 November 1864 – 22 January 1932) was an English amateur tennis player and journalist and editor of the conservative British publication, National Review, between August 1893 and his death in January 1932. He was succeeded as editor by his sister, Violet Milner.

He was President of the Cambridge Union Society, in 1886, and a member of the Coefficients dining club of social reformers set up in 1902 by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb.

Before the Great War, Maxse argued against liberal idealism in foreign policy, Cobdenite pacifism, Radical cosmopolitanism and constantly warned of the German menace.[1] However he entered the arena of politics often against the government. He became an outspoken critic of British Zionism, condemning attempts to occupy Palestine.

Maxse argued that the 1918 victory against Germany gave the Allies a fleeting opportunity to destroy German power.[2] He viewed the Treaty of Versailles as ineffectual towards that aim and blamed Allied politicians, Lloyd George especially, for bowing to President Wilson's pressure to make the treaty less harsh. Maxse believed Germany was still able to restore itself as the dominant European power.[3] In the general election of 1918 Maxse supported the National Party against the Conservative Party leadership, whom he regarded as subservient to Lloyd George and would therefore keep him in high office.[4]

The League of Nations was vehemently opposed by Maxse: the League was a "front-bench affair hurriedly adopted and recklessly advocated simply and solely to please President Wilson".[5] He claimed Hindenburg and Ludendorff controlled Germany from behind-the-scenes regardless of which politician was in office and that it was unnecessary to appease Germany to stop her from going Bolshevik because Prussian militarism was still the dominant force.[6]

The Allied intervention in Russia to help defeat the Bolsheviks was supported by Maxse not just because he disliked Bolshevism but because he wanted Russia to resume her pre-revolution role of being an anti-German power. Maxse was also pro-French and pro-Polish. During 1920–1922, Maxse attacked Lloyd George for failing to "f[i]ght for a...greater France, support...Poland, sustain...Bohemia, nourish...Rumania [and] uphold our allies in Russia".[7]


  • The Great Marconi Mystery (London: The National Review Office, 1913).
  • "Germany on the Brain", or, the Obsession of "A Crank": Gleanings from The National Review, 1899-1914 (London: The National Review Office, 1915).
  • (preface), Victory or Free Trade? (London: The National Review Office, 1917).
  • Politicians on the War-Path (London: The National Review Office, 1920).


  1. ^ Maurice Cowling, The Impact of Labour 1920–1924. The Beginnings of Modern British Politics (Cambridge University Press, 1971), p.78.
  2. ^ Cowling, p. 78.
  3. ^ Cowling, p.78.
  4. ^ Cowling, p.80.
  5. ^ Cowling, p.79.
  6. ^ Cowling, p.79.
  7. ^ Cowling, p. 79.


  • Cowling, Maurice (1971). The Impact of Labour 1920–1924: The Beginnings of Modern British Politics. Cambridge University Press. 
  • Hutcheson, John A (1989). Leopold Maxse and the National Review, 1893-1914: right-wing politics and journalism in the Edwardian era. New York: Garland Publishing Inc. ISBN 0-8240-7818-7. 

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