Palmerston

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A Biography

David Brown

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Price: $38.00
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A grand and fascinating figure in Victorian politics, the charismatic Lord Palmerston (1784–1865) served as foreign secretary for fifteen years and prime minister for nine, engaged in struggles with everyone from the Duke of Wellington to Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, engineered the defeat of the Russians in the Crimean War, and played a major role in the development of liberalism and the Liberal Party. This comprehensive biography, informed by unprecedented research in the statesman’s personal archives, gives full weight not only to Palmerston’s foreign policy achievements, but also to his domestic political activity, political thought, life as a landlord, and private life and affairs. Through the lens of the milieu of his times, the book pinpoints for the first time the nature and extent of Palmerston’s contributions to the making of modern Britain.

David Brown is senior lecturer in modern history, University of Strathclyde. He lives in Glasgow.

“A meticulously researched chronicle that excavates the reality behind the image”—William Anthony Hay, Wall Street Journal

"Brown is a superb writer and his Palmerston ought to be required reading for all students of 19th-century political history."—Amanda Foreman, Financial Times

"...rich, thoughtful...rewarding...surely [the] definitive life"—Ferdinand Mount, Times Literary Supplement

"David Brown offers a meticulously researched chronicle that excavates the reality behind the image."—William Anthony Hay, Wall Street Journal

"In a sixty year political career that linked Pitt the Younger and Gladstone Lord Palmerston combined a mastery of high politics and diplomacy with an astute popular touch that secured the support of the British people. In the first full length biography based on the Palmerston archives David Brown reveals the conflicting strands at the heart of a successful career: a sophisticated intellectual with remarkable practical application, a determined hard-working playboy, and above all a politician who always knew his own mind, and had the confidence to chart a course between reaction and democracy at home and abroad. A landmark in nineteenth century history."—Andrew Lambert, author of Admirals: The Naval Commanders who made Britain Great

''David Brown's multi-faceted Palmerston, in its archival mastery, scope and insight, outdistances any other."—Keith Robbins

'A major biography, and the first one to really capture its subject in his fullness. Brown's work establishes him as a scholar of the first rank, and the book provides us with new insights into a fascinating character.'—John Charmley, author of Churchill: The End of Glory

"Brown’s biography is a fluently written, authoritative study which places Palmerston firmly in the context of his times."—Graham Goodlad, History Review

"Brown has done distinguished work….An excellent study."—Edward Pearce, Tribune

"We are offered here, for the first time, a rounded portrait, warts and all, ad it is all the better for diverging from the patriotic stereotype of popular legend. This is a readable and enjoyable account of a great Victorian."—John Charmley, The Victorian

"Brown’s scrupulous research recreates the vitality of the Whig governing tradition in its Victorian heyday. He brings alive Palmerston’s mental landscape…This will be the standard biography of the man."—Rohan McWilliam, History Today

"The book contains much of value, and I emerged from it exhausted and exasperated, but closer to understanding this extraordinary man."—Paul Johnson, Spectator

"A hefty, statesman like life of the 19th-century prime minister."—Joy Lo Dico, The Independent on Sunday

"We are offered here, for the first time, a rounded portrait, warts and all, ad it is all the better for diverging from the patriotic stereotype of popular legend. This is a readable and enjoyable account of a great Victorian."—John Charmley The Victorian

“enormously detailed, scrupulously sourced…”—Stephen Matchett, The Australian

"This is a substantial book about a substantial figure. Rejecting simplistic assessments, David Brown paints a fascinating picture of a statesman who continues to defy easy categorization. . . . a major contribution to scholarship."—Michael J. Turner, Journal of British Studies

“Brown has done a wonderful job capturing the life of a truly remarkable man.”—The Good Book Guide
ISBN: 9780300177961
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
584 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
30 b/w illus.
Durham Cathedral

History, Fabric, and Culture

Edited by David Brown

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