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Salisbury: Victorian Titan
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Lord Salisbury dominated the late Victorian political scene. He was Prime Minister for much of the time and also Foreign Secretary, very often holding down the two positions concurrently. In achievement and ability he was at least the equal of Disraeli and Gladstone though less well remembered. In part that was the result of his own aloof and laodicean temperament but it was also the fault of there being no faintly adequate modern biography (his daughter, Lady Gwendolen Cecil wrote a magnificent biography early in the twentieth-century but although in four volumes it only got as far as 1892). At last, in 1999 with the publication of Andrew Roberts' biography this desideratum was filled. Here was the biography of sufficient stature to do justice to the Victorian Titan. Most aptly it went on to win the Wolfson History Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award for Non-Fiction. The uniformly outstanding reviews prove why. 'Andrew Roberts has filled one of the great gaps in Victorian historiography. This is the first authoritative life of the statesman who dominated politics from 1885 to 1902 . . . A brilliant biography that will long replace anything which has appeared before.' Robert Blake, Daily Telegraph 'This is a biography of quite unusual quality and insight, tautly organized yet flowing easily, with years of research behind it to reinforce its authority. While not seeking to diminish either Gladstone or Disraeli, it restores Salisbury to the commanding position he rightfully occupied in Victorian politics.' Peter Clarke, Sunday Times 'An outstanding achievement . . . seldom has such an important study been such splendid entertainment.' Piers Brendon, Independent 'This is a book to put on one's shelf alongside Ehrman's Younger Pitt, Gash's volumes on Peel and Blake's Disraeli . . . Andrew Roberts' book has the balance, insight all-roundedness and intellectual elegance of Lord Salisbury himself.' A. D. Harvey, Salisbury Review '(Salisbury) deserves, and has found, a fine biographer, who has left no stone unturned in his researches, has written cogently and well about his subject, and provided not just a history of Lord Salisbury, but one of the best histories yet of Victorian Britain and her place in the world.' Simon Heffer, Daily Mail 'Salisbury is a great biography, magisterially proportioned and fit to take its place with Gash on Peel and Blake on Disraeli, if not with Morley's Gladstone. Moreover, although constructed on a massive scale, it is so beautifully written that one could not want it a page shorter. It is unlikely ever to be superseded.' Vernon Bogdanor, Times Higher Educational Supplement 'Roberts triumphantly retrieves Salisbury from unmerited obscurity with a book as delightful to read as it is informative.' Niall Ferguson, Mail on Sunday 'A terrific piece of biography; I really enjoyed it.' Jeremy Paxman, Start the Week 'Andrew Roberts' Salisbury fills a most remarkable gap in British historiography with a study that that is not only learned and comprehensive but startlingly well-written.' Michael Howard, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year 'It captures the essence of Salisbury in a way that nothing has has ever done for me before.' Roy Jenkins, Financial Times
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