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Addington: A Life of Henry Addington, First Viscount Sidmouth [Kindle Edition]

Philip Ziegler
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Henry Addington is one of the great forgotten men of history.

He occupied the most important positions in the State through one of the most crucial periods of British history.

Addington was Speaker of the House of Commons from the outbreak of the French Revolution to the close of the first of the two long wars against Napoleon, at which point he succeeded Pitt as Prime Minister.

He negotiated the short-lived Peace of Amiens in 1801 and was forced after eighteen months to resume the great struggle that was to end only on the field of Waterloo.

Raised to the Peerage as Viscount Sidmouth, he became Home Secretary in 1812. In point of duration and of difficulty, his tenure of the Home Office has hardly been equalled.

Philip Ziegler, using the large, and largely neglected, collection of Sidmouth papers still in possession of the family, has created a detailed yet lively study of a man who, whatever his shortcomings, did not lack either generosity or humanity.

Much light is also thrown from an unfamiliar angle both on the politics of late Georgian England and on the many fascinating and brilliant figures, Pitt, Canning, Liverpool, Castlereagh, whose names are still bright on the page of history.

Praise for Philip Ziegler:

"Philip Ziegler is a master of biographical narrative ... Seldom has such exhaustive research been made so compellingly readable" - Michael Holroyd

"Ziegler writes with urbanity and generosity but is unflinching in his judgements ... an exemplary biography'" - Richard Davenport-Hines, Times Literary Supplement

"Philip Ziegler is a welcome recruit to the biographer's ranks" - Sunday Telegraph

Philip Ziegler's many books include acclaimed biographies of William IV, Lady Diana Cooper, Lord Mountbatten and Harold Wilson, as well as the classic history of the Black Death. His authorised biography of Edward Heath won the Elizabeth Longford Prize in 2011.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 974 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press Ltd. (13 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #401,359 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers an interesting political period 1 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Addington's life fell into an interesting period of social discontent and the threat of the Napoleonic Wars, and Ziegler provides a fascinating account of the politics of the late eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Addington, known as `The Doctor' in Parliament was influential in engineering the brief Peace of Amiens with Napoleon, yet remained overshadowed by his contemporaries such as Pitt, Canning and Fox. He was rigidly opposed to the abolition of the Slave Trade, and Parliamentary Reform and Ziegler's study is a highly interesting account of this middle-class reactionary who became entangled in an age of industrial change, war and social reform. Though a very specialised biography, I would recommend Addington to anyone studying the period, or generally interested in 18th and 19th century political history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In this well-researched and very accessible biography, Philip Ziegler illuminates the life of one of, what he calls, the "forgotten men of history": Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth. Addington was born in 1757, to a distinguished doctor, physician to George III, and through whom he met and became friends with William Pitt. He became Speaker of the House of Commons in 1789 and succeeded Pitt as Prime Minister in 1801.

Addington and Pitt remained friends and when Pitt returned to office in 1803 he raised Addington to the peerage as Viscount Sidmouth. As Sidmouth, Addington became Home Secretary and his staunch conservatism made him influential in suppressing revolutionary thought and stopping the efforts of the poor to receive better working conditions. A somewhat controversial and divisive figure, he nevertheless played an important role in determining the political direction of his time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars obscure prime minister re-instated 14 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Obviously this is not a book for anyone uninterested in political history, or even more, the politics of the turn of the 18th and 19th century, which may now seem incomprehensible. It's not either for readers with a taste for the heroes and villains of history.
Addington has become oneof the least known of Prime Ministers, If known at all as either one of the most supine or most outrageously reactionary. Philip Ziegler could make any subject interesting and sometimes a reappraisal of a bad guy, can be more interesting than the debunking of a good guy. I like to understand reactionaries - especially one who lived inthe turbulent times of the early nineteenth century when many of the sort of people who might now be somewhere in the centre of politics, were not unjustifiably obsessed with the threat of contagion from the French Revolution to the not insignificant liberties entrenched by the English constitution since 1689.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject---well-written 28 Aug. 2013
By Jerry Greenspan - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good for Anglophiles. Urbane subject, forgotten era, Written with style and command. A little detailed for some readers, I suspect.
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