edgar speyer

Edgar Speyer



The Troublesome Case of Sir Edgar Speyer


An Episode of the Great War with a Foreword by Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC



Sir Edgar Speyer was a conspicuous figure in the financial, cultural, social and political life of Edwardian London.

In the early summer of 1914 Speyer and his wife, the concert violinist Leonora Speyer, stood at the peak of their success and celebrity in London society. However within weeks, at the outbreak of WW1 they became objects of suspicion and aversion. In 1921 a judicial enquiry found Speyer guilty of disloyalty and disaffection and of communicating and trading with the enemy and he was stripped of his citizenship.


The downfall of Sir Edgar Speyer has been described as `a minor tragedy of the war'. This book is the first detailed account of the episode. It re-examines the Speyer case from documents newly released, presents the evidence and invites the reader to decide whether Sir Edgar was an innocent victim, a scapegoat, or a traitor to his adopted country.

Antony Lentin has written a well-researched, compelling and balanced account of a remarkable life and explains clearly how a widely admired public figure was turned into an object of hatred and derision.

Times Higher Educational Supplement

baker st station


Without Sir Edgar there would be no London Underground, no Proms, no expeditions to the Antarctic by Captain Scott and no Scott Polar Research Institute. Read more

tony lentin


Antony Lentin is a Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge, a barrister and formerly a Professor of History and law tutor at the Open University. Read more

blom cooper


In his Foreword to Banker, Traitor, Scapegoat, Spy. The Troublesome Case of Sir Edgar Speyer, Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, QC condemns this `episode of the Great War': Read more