William Le Queux was one of the earliest authors of espionage fiction; he strongly influenced the direction of the genre for nearly twenty-five years. In writing more than one hundred novels dealing primarily with political intrigue and spying, he anticipated almost every development of the spy story until the writings of Eric Ambler. Yet because he was reputed to have been a member of the British secret service for a number of years, his works are somewhat difficult to assess: Le Queux’s lively and vivid imagination makes it hard to distinguish between his factual and fictional writings; he was not at all reluctant to embellish a situation and present it as historical fact. During the early part of his career, Le Queux warned of a Continental invasion of England. As a result, his early novels were extremely popular for their topicality and sensationalism.