"A Superb New Biography . . . A Tragic Story, Brilliantly Told." --Andrew Roberts, "Literary Review 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--with a new foreword by the author--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 disparagedas much as it was admired. In Gilmour's well-rounded appraisal, Curzon emerges as a complex, tragic figure, a gifted leader who saw his imperial
Gilmour’s writing is stiff at first but ultimately smoothes out. This book is as impressive as it is long. While Curzon is not a well known British figure in the United States, Great Britain and India celebrate his legacy and it was nice to get a glimpse of India under colonial rule. Curzon could have been a better Prime Minister than Stanley Baldwin, but the politics of the day were stacked against members of the House of Lords. In the end, he was a intriguing part of the intertwined history of Great Britain and India. Gilmour’s biography is, for the most part, balanced and sourced well. He defers greatly to others who have approached the subject before him, but thankfully had access to more complete resources and the advantage of a wider historical lens. A daunting but very interesting read.