Andrew Roberts

Passages to India

Conservative Politics in National and Imperial Crisis: Letters from Britain to the Viceroy of India 1926–31

By

Ashgate 436pp £100 order from our bookshop

Between 1926 and 1931 Edward Wood, Lord Irwin – better known as Lord Halifax, foreign secretary at the time of the Munich Agreement of 1938 and the man who could have been prime minister instead of Winston Churchill in May 1940 – served as viceroy of India. Irwin had been a member of the Conservative Cabinet before Stanley Baldwin appointed him viceroy and was well connected outside politics too, as a friend of several members of the royal family and of such people as Geoffrey Dawson, editor of The Times. During his half-decade in New Delhi, where Sir Edwin Lutyens built a magnificent new viceregal palace for him, Irwin received a large number of letters from many of the most eminent Tory politicians of the day. The distinguished academic Stuart Ball has selected from and edited this correspondence with scholarship and skill to produce a fascinating insight into British politics at a time of acute economic and imperial crises. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Sign up to our email newsletter below! Get free articles, highlights from the archive, and chances to win theatre… ,
    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,