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  • John Murray
  • John Murray
  • John Murray

The Lost Imperialist: Lord Dufferin, Memory and Mythmaking in an Age of Celebrity

Andrew Gailey

4 Reviews

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c 1800 to c 1900, Biography: general, Biography: historical, political & military, Prose: non-fiction

An eagerly anticipated biography of one of the greatest statesmen of the Victorian age.

Winner of the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography 2016

Frederick Hamiton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, enjoyed a glittering career which few could equal. As Viceroy of India and Governor-General of Canada, he held the two most exalted positions available under the Crown, but prior to this his achievements as a British ambassador included restoring order to sectarian conflict in Syria, helping to keep Canada British, paving the way for the annexation of Egypt and preventing war from breaking out on India's North-West Frontier.

Dufferin was much more than a diplomat and politician, however: he was a leading Irish landlord, an adventurer and a travel writer whose Letters from High Latitudes proved a publishing sensation. He also became a celebrity of the time, and in his attempts to sustain his reputation he became trapped by his own inventions, thereafter living his public life in fear of exposure. Ingenuity, ability and charm usually saved the day, yet in the end catastrophe struck in the form of the greatest City scandal for forty years and the death of his heir in the Boer War.

With unique access to the family archive at Clandeboye, Andrew Gailey presents a full biography of the figure once referred to as the 'most popular man in Europe'.

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Praise for The Lost Imperialist: Lord Dufferin, Memory and Mythmaking in an Age of Celebrity

  • The cult of political biography is gently withering with the decline in the number of its adherents. How pleasing and unexpecting, then, to read about Lord Dufferin, in a scholarly, well-researched volume, elegantly written and published by John Murrya, which in its ancien regime heyday issued many such tomes. Andrew Gailey is a fine historian - Literary Review

  • A scholarly book that will leave readers wiser about Victorian England as well as one of its most distinguished characters - Country Life

  • A story with a terrific denouement and unexpected psychological twists, skilfully unravelled by Gailey, whose research has been prodigious - Independent

  • Well equipped to convey Dufferin's importance as an Ulster icon in the imperial age, [Andrew Gailey] also handles the haut ton of late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain with aplomb. He writes engagingly, a graceful turn of phrase leavened by the odd stiletto thrust, and he is an acute psychologist - Roy Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History at Hertford College, Oxford

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