David Gilmour

Living the High Life

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


John Murray 454pp £30 order from our bookshop

The cult of political biography is gently withering with the decline in the number of its adherents. People still go out to buy the lives of prime ministers – especially if called Churchill, Thatcher or Lloyd George – but they are seldom interested in the tier below, the ‘nearly men’, politicians who may have accomplished great things without ever quite reaching Number Ten. Statesmen and diplomats, who a century ago would have merited a two-volume biography, might now not receive more than a hostile academic monograph about one controversial episode in their careers.

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