The life of Patrick Shaw Stewart does not by any conventional criteria merit a biography. Few people who die in their twenties do, unless they are poets. And Patrick apparently wrote only one poem in his life. He presided over the funeral of his friend Rupert Brooke, ordering a salute over the requisite corner of a Greek olive grove, but he was not a poet of the Great War.
Yet Miles Jebb’s book is more than just a life of a clever young man who seemed destined one day to become chairman of Barings Bank. It is also a portrait of an age – or rather of an elite within an elite of that age. Shaw Stewart