Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Anthony Ludovici

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Nationality  English
Role  Critic
Name  Anthony Ludovici
Anthony Ludovici wwwanthonymludovicicomludo3jpg
Full Name  Anthony Mario Ludovici
Born  8 January 1882 (1882-01-08) London, England
Died  May 3, 1971, SW postcode area
Books  The False Assumptions of "democ, A Defence of Aristocrac, Man's Descent from the, Lysistrata - Or Woman's, Nietzsche ‑ Scholar's Choice E

Ludovici: Superiority of Art over Science

Anthony Mario Ludovici MBE (8 January 1882 – 3 April 1971) was a British philosopher, sociologist, social critic and polyglot. He is best known as a proponent of aristocracy, and in the early 20th century was a leading British conservative author. He wrote on subjects including art, metaphysics, politics, economics, religion, the differences between the sexes, race, health and eugenics. Ludovici began his career as an artist, painting and illustrating books. He was private secretary to sculptor Auguste Rodin for several months in 1906, but the two men parted company after Christmas, "to their mutual relief." Ultimately, he would turn towards writing, with over 40 books as author, and translating over 60 others.


Early life

Ludovici was born in London, England on 8 January 1882 to Albert Ludovici, and Marie Cals. Ludovici's father and grandfather, Albert Ludovici, Sr., were both artists. He married Elsie Finnimore Buckley on 20 March 1920. He was educated privately, in England and abroad but chiefly by his mother. He spent several years in Germany where he studied Nietzsche's writings in the original German. He was fluent in several languages.

He began lecturing on art, politics, religion, and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, about whom he wrote Who is to be Master of the World?: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1909) and Nietzsche: His Life and Works (1910). Nietzsche scholar William Mackintire Salter called Nietzsche: His Life and Works "the well-nigh perfect short manual" on Nietzsche. According to Steven Aschheim, his 1911 Nietzsche and Art was "a unique attempt to write a Nietzschean history of art in terms of rising aristocratic and decadent-democratic epochs". This was the year of the first Parliament Act 1911, cutting back the power of the House of Lords. It also marks a watershed or change in Ludovici's writing, to a more overt political line, which would only sharpen over the next 25 years.

During World War I he joined the New Army and served as an artillery officer at Armentieres and the Somme, where he described himself as "a miserable and vermin-ridden trench-rat", and then in the Intelligence Staff at the War Office, where after two years of service he rose to head of his department (MI6 A). For his service during the war he was awarded the Order of the British Empire, which he immediately returned because he felt that it was too easily attainable and held by too many people. He attained the rank of Captain during World War I, of which he remained proud for the rest of his life, and was even called 'Captain' as a nickname by his peers throughout his life.

After the war, he became a student of Dr. Oscar Levy, editor of The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, the first translation of Nietzsche's works in English. Ludovici contributed several volumes.

Ludovici came across the Alexander Technique in 1925 and said he had lessons in 'deportment' over a period of four years with F.M. Alexander.


Ludovici's writing was varied, and took traditional conservative stances on social issues. Liberalism, socialism, Marxism, Christianity, feminism, multiculturalism, the modern culture of consumerism and revolt against tradition constituted Ludovici's main areas of attack.

He wrote "I have long been an opponent and critic of Christianity, democracy, and anarchy in art and literature. I am particularly opposed to 'Abstract Art,' which I trace to Whistler's heretical doctrines of art and chiefly to his denial that the subject matters, his assimilation of the graphic arts and music, and his insistence on the superior importance of the composition and colour-harmony of a picture, over its representational content." He was an early critic of Jacob Epstein, attacking him in The New Age, to which he contributed as an art critic before the Great War.

In his A Defence of Aristocracy (1915), Ludovici defends aristocracy against government in popular control. In The False Assumptions of "Democracy" (1921), he attacked the democratic idea and the liberal attitude in general, as having originated in specious philosophy, wholly opposed to nature. A Defence of Conservatism (1927) defends tradition as not only a policy of preservation, but of discernment in change, writing, "Man is instinctively conservative in the sense that probably millions of years of experience have taught him that a stable environment is the best for peace of mind, present and future security, automatism of action... and a ready command of material and artificial circumstances. It is the repeated introduction of new instruments, new weapons, new methods, and needs for fresh adaptations, that makes automatism impossible. And it is the complication of life by novel contributions to life's interests and duties that makes a ready command of circumstances difficult."

For Ludovici, egalitarianism in all its forms constituted a denial of the innate biological differences between individuals, the sexes and races. He criticized what he saw as the sentimental coddling of the mediocre and botched. His articles were a regular feature of the New Pioneer, a far-right journal controlled by Viscount Lymington and closely linked to the British People's Party. Ludovici repeatedly warned of the dangers of miscegenation.

Conservatism and tradition

Ludovici's doctrines were nationalist, traditionalist, and centrally concerned with a form of eugenic reasoning. He argued that heredity can yield strong family lines, group values, and national and racial characteristics. Politicians should not only be individuals of intelligence, and knowledgeable of mankind, but also of the same stock as those they lead.

It is in the interest of the nation to maintain unique characteristics by safeguarding a native and particular potentiality of success and opportunities for self-expression and expansion. This includes a concern for the health of one’s people, that ill-health not only leads to maladaptation, but also to the decay of the strength capacity and character of the nation. "To be a good forester, a man must know how to give trees their proper health conditions, and must also know how to chop and prune them."

National prestige means power, power is safety, and safety is security. Since the conservative politician is concerned with the security and extension of his own nation’s power, he cannot tolerate anything that jeopardizes its position. In dealing with a vis major, he acts firmly and quickly; using the full might of his nation against any enemy that threatens it.

The conservative is naturally suspicious of change. He must know enough about his nation's character and potentialities, of mankind in general, and be able to judge whether new tendencies are desirable, in keeping with the eternal nature of men, or fatalistic, when they apply "only to angels, goblins, fairies or other harebrained fictions".

The conservative is concerned with the happiness of his people. When examining unhappiness amongst his people he differentiates between the type of maladaptation that arises from injustice and oppression, and that which is resultant from degeneracy or morbidity. He can meet the demands of the former easily and accomplish improvement, but in taking on the later he will only penalize the nation.

Ludovici summed up his definition: (esoteric) conservatism "is the preservation of the national identity throughout the process of change by a steady concern for the whole of the nation's life." He opposed Jews, foreigners, and 'odd people' — eccentrics, cranks and fanatics — having anything to do with government.

Later life

He was on the Selection Committee of the Right Book Club, with Norman Thwaites, Trevor Blakemore, Collinson Owen and W. A. Foyle.

After the Second World War, Ludovici fell rapidly into obscurity. In 1936, he had written enthusiastically about Adolf Hitler, whom he had met personally that year, along with many other high ranking Nazi officials. He was critical of the effect of Jews on the history of England, writing a work under the pseudonym Cobbett, The Jews, and the Jews in England (1938).

Ludovici was dismissed from his intelligence work on 14 August 1940 and his house was subsequently raided allegedly due to his membership of the political group The Right Club. On Friday 8 October 1940, Ludovici was interviewed at Scotland Yard where he distinguished his views from Fascism, and was then released.

From 1955 until 1969 Ludovici wrote a series of essays in the monthly journal The South African Observer. Topics under his analysis included The Essentials of Good Government in a series of 20 monthly parts, and Public Opinion in England in a similar series.



  • Who is to be Master of the World? An Introduction to the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Edinburgh: T. N. Foulis, 1909.
  • Nietzsche: His Life and Works (Philosophies Ancient and Modern). London: Constable, 1910 [New York: Dodge, 1910].
  • Nietzsche and Art. London: Constable, 1911. Boston: J. W. Luce, 1912 [New York: Haskell House, 1971].
  • A Defence of Aristocracy: A Text-Book for Tories. London: Constable, 1915 [Boston: Phillips, 1915. Second edition, London: Constable, 1933].
  • Man's Descent from the Gods: Or, The Complete Case Against Prohibition. London: William Heinemann, 1921 [New York: A. A. Knopf, 1921].
  • The False Assumptions of "Democracy". London: Heath Cranton, 1921.
  • Woman: A Vindication. London: Constable, 1923 [New York: A. A. Knopf, 1923. Second edition, London: Constable 1929].
  • Lysistrata: Or, Woman's Future and Future Woman. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & co., ltd., 1925.
  • Personal Reminiscences of Auguste Rodin. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1926. London: John Murray, 1926.
  • A Defence of Conservatism: A Further Text-Book for Tories. London: Faber and Gwyer, 1927.
  • Man: An Indictment. London: Constable, 1927 [New York: E. P. Dutton, 1927].
  • The Night-Hoers: Or, The Case Against Birth Control and an Alternative. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1928.
  • The Secret of Laughter. London: Constable, 1932.
  • The Choice of a Mate (The International Library of Sexology and Psychology). London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1935.
  • Jews, and the Jews in England (written under the pen-name of Cobbett). London: Boswell, 1938.
  • The Truth About Childbirth; Lay Light on Maternal Morbidity and Mortality. London: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1938.
  • The Four Pillars of Health. A Contribution to Post-War Planning. London: Heath Cranton Limited, 1945.
  • The Child: An Adult's Problem; First Aid to Parents. London: Carroll and Nicholson, 1948.
  • Enemies of Women: the Origins in Outline of Anglo-Saxon Feminism. London: Carroll & Nicholson 1948.
  • The Quest of Human Quality: How to Rear Leaders. London: Rider, 1952.
  • Religion for Infidels. London: Holborn, 1961.
  • The Specious Origins of Liberalism: The Genesis of a Delusion. London: Britons, 1967.
  • Day, John V., ed. (2003). The Lost Philosopher: The Best of Anthony M. Ludovici. Berkeley, CA: Educational Translation and Scholarship Foundation. ISBN 0-9746264-0-6.
  • Fiction

  • Mansel Fellowes. London: Grant Richards, 1918.
  • Catherine Doyle: The Romance of a Trice-Married Lady. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1919.
  • Too Old for Dolls: A Novel. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1920.
  • What Woman Wishes. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1921.
  • The Goddess that Grew Up. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1922.
  • French Beans. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1923.
  • The Taming of Don Juan. London: Hutchinson, 1924.
  • As translator

  • Thoughts out of Season, by Friedrich Nietzsche. London: T. N. Foulis, 1909.
  • Ecce Homo, by Friedrich Nietzsche. New York: Macmillan, 1911.
  • Twilight of the Idols, by Friedrich Nietzsche. New York: Macmillan, 1911.
  • The Case of Wagner; Nietzsche Contra Wagner; Selected Aphorisms. Edinburgh and London: T. N. Foulis, 1911.
  • The Letters of a Post-impressionist; being the Familiar Correspondence of Vincent van Gogh. London, Constable, 1912.
  • The Life of Nietzsche, by Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche. New York: Sturgis and Walton, 1912-15.
  • Germany and its Evolution in Modern Times, by Henri Lichtenberger. New York: H. Holt and Co., 1913.
  • Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche. London, William Heinemann, 1921.
  • On the Road with Wellington, by August Ludolf Friedrich Schaumann. London: William Heinemann ltd., 1924.
  • Articles

  • "Art: A Dialogue Overheard at a Picture Gallery," The New Age, Vol. XI, No. 27, 1912, pp. 642–644.
  • "Art," The New Age, Vol. XII, No. 6, 1912, p. 135.
  • "Art: A Question of Finish", The New Age, Vol. XII, No. 21, 1913, p. 508.
  • "Art: A Stroll Down Bond Street," The New Age, Vol. XIII, No. 2, 1913, p. 42.
  • "Art: An Open Letter to my Friends," The New Age, Vol. XIV, No. 9, 1914, pp. 278–281.
  • "Art: False Remedies and Other Considerations," The New Age, Vol. XIV, No. 11, 1914, pp. 345–346.
  • "Art: Les Independents and the Salon des Beaux Arts," The New Age, Vol. XV, No. 2, 1914, p. 44.
  • "Conscience and Fanaticism," The New Age, Vol. XXV, No. 24, 1919, pp. 395–396.
  • "Conscience and Fanaticism: A Reply to Mr. G. Pitt Rivers," The New Age, Vol. XXVI, No. 10, 1920, pp. 155–156.
  • "Mr. Clutton Brock on Art," The New Age, Vol. XXVI, No. 13, 1920, pp. 201–202.
  • "Wine and Spirits," The New Age, Vol. XXVII, No. 2, 1920, p. 24.
  • "The Conservative Programme - A Suggestion," Fortnightly Review, New Series, Vol. CXI, 1922, pp. 948–962.
  • "The Conservative Programme: A Further Suggestion," Fortnightly Review, New Series, Vol. CXIII, 1923, pp. 600–614.
  • "Woman's Encroachment on Man's Domain," Current History, Vol. XXVII, October 1927, pp. 21–25.
  • "Transform Society's Values," in Chaim Newman, (ed.) Gentile and Jew; a Symposium on the Future of the Jewish People. London: Alliance Press, 1945, pp. 165–185.
  • References

    Anthony Ludovici Wikipedia