Walter Leaf (1852-1927) was a banker and classicist, whose various positions as chairman of the Westminster Bank, founder of the London Chamber of Commerce and president of the Hellenic Society reflected his wide-ranging professional and scholarly interests. Leaf was educated at Harrow School and won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1870. He became senior classic in 1874 and was elected to a fellowship the following year. As a scholar Leaf was concerned with uncovering the physical reality of the classical world, a stance which set him apart from Jane Harrison and the Cambridge Ritual School. Leaf's The Iliad, with introduction and tes, first appeared in two volumes (1886-1888), and was regarded for several decades as the best English edition of Homer's epic poem. Volume 1 of the 1900 edition comprises Leaf's preface, an introduction to books 1-12 of the poem, and the antated text.