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Castlereagh

Castlereagh

The best political biography of the year’ Jonathan Sumption, Spectator
‘Wonderful . . . A Life so nearly complete it need never be written again’ Ferdinand Mount, Times Literary Supplement
By the author of the Orwell Prize-winning Citizen Clem

Damned in coruscating verse by Shelley and Byron, his coffin hissed at during his funeral, Lord Castlereagh has one of the blackest reputations in British history. But as John Bew shows, this is but a half-drawn portrait. His gripping biography reveals a shy, inarticulate but passionate man; a towering political figure of implacable principles who redrew the map of Europe, fought a duel with a cabinet colleague and would tragically take his own life amid rumours of scandal and madness.

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General / Biography: Historical, Political & Military

On Sale: 31st July 2014

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9780857388407

Reviews

'John Bew has some heavy lifting to do in this consciously revisionist take. It is a great testament to his skills as a scholar and writer that he manages to do so with such aplomb ... stellar' Tristram Hunt.
Tristram Hunt
'In a magisterial political portrait Bew brings Castlereagh and his world sharply back to life' Daily Telegraph.
Daily Telegraph
'Wonderful ... A Life so nearly complete that it need never be written again' Ferdinand Mount, Times Literary Supplement.
Times Literary Supplement
John Bew has some heavy lifting to do in this consciously revisionist take. It is a great testament to his skills as a scholar and writer that he manages to do so with such aplomb . . . stellar
Tristram Hunt, Daily Telegraph
Wonderful . . . Bew's book is not only unparalleled in its size and sweep; it is also drenched in the Irish dimension, enriched by the author's own Ulster heritage, as well as the sagacity, scholarship and charm that make this a Life so nearly complete that it need never be written again
Ferdinand Mount, Times Literary Supplement
In a magisterial political portrait Bew brings Castlereagh and his world sharply back to life, and reassesses one of Britain's great forgotten statesmen
Dan Jones, Daily Telegraph
In this well-researched and judicious book, John Bew successfully readjusts the picture . . . this excellent biography tells a cautionary tale
Leslie Mitchell, Literary Review
This new biography by John Bew is a wonderful book, in its scope, its scholarship and the magisterial sweep of the narrative
Irish Independent
Vast, well-researched biography . . . as Bew's solid, accomplished book shows, no foreign secretary has worker harder, wielded such influence or inspired such poetic hatreds
Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
The most brilliant and wise political biography I have read in a long while
Ferdinand Mount, Wall St Journal
Bew's achievement is to portray Castlereagh . . . convincingly and without any historical or bibliographical contortion
London Review of Books
This is an excellent biography which has given us a far more realistic and nuanced view of this much maligned man
Contemporary Review
A compelling new biography of the Irishman who dominated early 19th century diplomacy
Hywel Williams, Guardian
John Bew is the outstanding historian of his generation. His biography of Castlereagh displays a knowledge of character, a grasp of political intrigue and a talent for story-telling any writer would envy. He brings magnificently to life one of the most enigmatic, and influential, statesmen in Britain's history
Michael Gove
Riveting . . . portrays the glory of perhaps the greatest of Britain's foreign secretaries
Andrew Roberts, Standpoint
a magisterial guide to Castlereagh's life that should inform the general understanding of international politics today . . . a masterly account
Brendan Simms, Foreign Affairs
A finely etched portrait . . . Bew impressively adds yet new dimensions to the man
William Hay, Wall St Journal
Excellent . . . a terrific read
Jack Straw
In a formidable biography, John Bew has addressed the reputation of Castlereagh, one of the dominant political personalities of Regency Britain
Keith Simpson, Total Politics
Monumental
Mark D'Arcy, BBC Political Books of the Year
Bew is above all a very fine historian, very thorough and an extremely good writer - he tells a damn good story
Stephen Pound, BBC Booktalk
The best political biography of the year
Jonathan Sumption, Spectator