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Castlereagh The Biography of a Statesman by John Bew

Castlereagh The Biography of a Statesman

Biography / Autobiography   

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A magisterial re-evaluation of Britain's greatest ever foreign secretary.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Castlereagh is a forgotten figure in British history. Born in the same year as Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington, he is nowhere near as famous as his contemporaries, even though it could be argued that he had as much impact on 18th-century Europe as either of the famous protagonists at Waterloo. He was a key figure in the British Cabinet at such a critical time in British history, dealing with problems both at home and abroad. Bew has done a magnificent job at bringing the man and his times back to life in a fresh light.
~ The Good Book Guide


Castlereagh The Biography of a Statesman by John Bew

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.


'Wonderful ... A Life so nearly complete that it need never be written again'
Ferdinand Mount, 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

. 'In a magisterial political portrait Bew brings Castlereagh and his world sharply back to life
Daily Telegraph


About the Author

John Bew is Reader in History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King's College London and Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. In 2013 he became the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress. From 2007-10, Bew was Lecturer in Modern British History, at Cambridge University, where he was also educated. He is currently writing a biography of Clement Attlee and a brief history of Realpolitik. He lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st March 2014


John Bew

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riverrun an imprint of Quercus Publishing


752 pages


Biography: historical, political & military

Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900



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