Lord Salisbury (1830-1903) was a heavyweight Victorian politician in every sense of the word. Clocking the scales at 18 stone, the owner of a 20,000 acre landed estate at Hatfield and the writer of some two million words of political journalism, he combined the offices of Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister for 12 years at the close of the 19th century, presiding over the expansion of the British Empire overseas and the electoral dominance of the Conservative Party at home. Yet until now Lord Salisbury has been poorly served by biographers. Next to the flamboyant Disraeli and the mercurial Gladstone he is perhaps a less compelling subject, but his impact on Victorian politics and foreign policy was no less decisive. Andrew Roberts' bumper biography goes a long way to restoring Salisbury to his rightful place in the pantheon of great prime ministers. Roberts, whose earlier work has earned him the reputation as a right- wing revisionist, wears his politics lightly in this volume, weaving together a full and complex narrative in an accurate and scholarly fashion. He finds room for everything. The major set-pieces of diplomacy, rivalry with Disraeli, parliamentary reform, Home Rule and the modernisation of the Conservative Party are all there, but so too are fascinating glimpses of Salisbury's happy home life, his tinkering with science and technology and, throughout, a proper appreciation of his political journalism--"Toryism for the clever man". --Miles Taylor
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Widely acclaimed biography of the ruthless, aristocratic genius, Lord Salisbury - Queen Victoria's Prime Minister and the mind behind the supremacy of the British Empire