Lord Salisbury: A Political Biography

Lord Salisbury: A Political Biography

Lord Salisbury: A Political Biography

Lord Salisbury: A Political Biography

Synopsis

David Steele vibrantly captures the life of The Marquess of Salisbury, whose remarkable character and ideas shaped both the history of the United Kingdom and the Tory party in the nineteenth century in this important biography. As Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, he was awarded with popular, and cross-party support for the majority of his policies both at home and abroad. A controversial figure throughout his career, Salisbury was firm in his resistance to Irish Home Rule, an aspect that Steele skillfully scrutinizes in brilliant detail. More than any other British statesman, Lord Salisbury was responsible for the successful international diplomacy that secured Britain's place among the great powers and in guiding the enormous territorial expansion of the British Empire during his time at the Foreign Office. Critically acclaimed in hardcover, this is the first substantial reassessment of this influential leader since the early 1900s that sheds new light on the private and politicalaspects of Lord Salisbury's very public career.

Excerpt

I have to acknowledge the gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen to quote from Queen Victoria’s correspondence and journal and from the papers of Edward VII in the Royal Archives. I am deeply grateful to the Marquess of Salisbury for allowing me to make full use of his ancestor’s papers, and to the owners and custodians of the other manuscripts listed at the back of this book: the Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement and the Duke of Devonshire; the Duke of Richmond and Gordon and the West Sussex Record Office; the Earl of Cranbrook and the Ipswich and East Suffolk Record Office; the Earl of Derby and the Liverpool Record Office; Earl St Aldwyn and the Gloucestershire Record Office; Viscount Chilston and the Kent Record Office; Viscount Hambleden and Messrs W.H. Smith and Son Ltd; Earl Cadogan and the House of Lords Record Office; the University Libraries of Birmingham, Bristol and Cambridge, and the Bodleian Library, Oxford; Balliol College, Oxford; Corpus Christi and Trinity Colleges, Cambridge; the Lambeth Palace Library; Liddon House; the National Army Museum and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. I have also drawn extensively on the great public collections in the Department of Manuscripts at the British Library, the former India Office Library and Records, now absorbed by the British Library, and the Public Record Office. I have benefited from the willing assistance given by their staffs.

I owe a considerable debt of gratitude to Mr Robin Harcourt Williams, the Archivist and Librarian at Hatfield, for his help and seemingly infinite patience; to Hugh Cecil, whose invitation to contribute to Salisbury: The Man and His Policies (1987) led on to this book; and to Andrew Roberts, who generously found time to read through my manuscript. John Chartres induced my then employer to grant a sabbatical year which enabled me to do much of the writing. Over the years, two colleagues, Roy Bridge and Keith Wilson, enlightened me about the fields which they adorn. Feroze Yasamee’s recently published study of Ottoman diplomacy in the opening years of Sultan Abdul Hamid II and my conversations with him were of the greatest value. . .

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