Amateur Naturalist and Professional Spy


Amateur Naturalist and Professional Spy : Maxwell Knight FLS (1900-1968)

Maxwell Knight

Speaker: Mr Stephen Moger FLS

Maxwell Knight was a very knowledgeable amateur naturalist, with more than thirty natural history books to his name, as well as being a leading member of most of the natural history and conservation societies and organisations in existence. However, what wasn't known until a long time after his death was the fact that he was a very senior agent in the Security Service (MI5), and that the James Bond character of 'M' was loosely based on his role and on his personality as a 'Spy Chief'.
Prior to the Second World War Knight was preoccupied with arresting pro Nazi activists in Britain; while during the Cold War, he was instrumental in exposing leading Soviet spies and fellow travellers. An enigmatic and complex man : who while friends with famous naturalists and biologists such as David Attenborough, Peter Scott and Desmond Morris, successfully managed to lead a double-life where matters of life and death connected with the national security, were daily concerns.
Stephen Moger FLS will endeavour to shed some light on this interesting twentieth century naturalist and Fellow of the Linnean Society, who deserves to be better known and understood as a true amateur naturalist with an infectious enthusiasm for all branches of the subject of natural history.

This meeting is free and open to all; registration is not necessary