Curzon: Imperial Statesman

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Macmillan, Feb 7, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 704 pages
4 Reviews
"Elegant biography . . . a fast-moving, entertaining, and finely written story." --Simon Schama, The New Yorker

George Nathaniel Curzon's controversial life in public service stretched from the high noon of his country's empire to the traumatized years following World War I. As viceroy of India under Queen Victoria and foreign secretary under King George V, the obsessive Lord Curzon left his unmistakable mark on the era. David Gilmour's award-winning book is a brilliant assessment of Curzon's character and achievements, offering a richly dramatic account of the infamous long vendettas, the turbulent friendships, and the passionate, risky love affairs that complicated and enriched his life.

Born into the ruling class of what was then the world's greatest power, Curzon was a fervent believer in British imperialism who spent his life proving he was fit for the task. Often seen as arrogant and tempestuous, he was loathed as much as he was adored, his work disparaged as much as it was admired. In Gilmour's well-rounded appraisal, Curzon is seen as a complex, tragic figure, a gifted leader who saw his imperial world overshadowed at the dawn of democracy.
  

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User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

George Nathanial Curzon, the Most Honorable 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, was indeed a very interesting fellow. He was the oldest son of Alfred Curzon, 4th Baron Scarsdale, and educated at Eton ... Read full review

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User Review  - ponsonby - LibraryThing

A very substantial and definitive biography of one of Britain's most distinctive politicians of the late 19th century and early 20th century. Curzon was a tremendous traveller and scholar of other ... Read full review

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Contents

Ancestral Silence
1
Eton 18721878
12
Oxford 18781883
23
Women and Work 18821885
40
The Journey to Westminster 18851887
53
Travel with a Purpose 18871890
65
The Coming Man 18901895
81
Hearts and Souls
100
Picking Up the Pieces
362
The Conversion of a Diehard 19091911
381
Suffragists and Other Targets 19111914
397
Lord Curzon at Home
413
In Search of a Role 19141915
432
Air Board and War Cabinet 1916
448
The Second Lady Curzon
461
Eastern Questions 1917
472

Number Two at the FO
121
o Sailing to Bombay 13 5
139
The Governance of India
149
Let India Be My Judge
164
The Problem of the Princes
182
Guarding the Frontiers
191
The Viceroys Routine
204
Proconsular Zenith
225
Fatal Appointments 19021903
247
The Gulf Bengal and Tibet
268
England 1904
278
Kitcheners Conspiracy
296
The Breaking of the Viceroy
318
Every Mans Hand
347
Lord President
488
The Foreign Office at Last
501
Middle Eastern Scrambles 19191922
512
Lloyd George and the Turks 19191922
528
Lausanne 19221923
549
Family Sagas
568
Ultimate Disappointments 19231925
579
Chronology
602
Notes
605
Sources and Bibliography
651
Acknowledgements
663
Index
665
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

David Gilmour is the author of many works of literary and political history, including The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling (FSG, 2002) and The Last Leopard: A Life of Giuseppe di Lampedusa. He lives in Edinburgh.

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