Simon Heffer

The Lost Liberal

Rosebery: Statesman in Turmoil

By

John Murray 640pp £25 order from our bookshop

In these days when politicians are despised, and the old aristocracy regarded either as a joke or a standing offence, it is hard to conceive that a century ago such people were the equivalent of pop or film stars. And, from the 1880s to the beginning of the twentieth century, few were more stellar than Archibald Philip Primrose, Fifth Earl of Rosebery. As Leo McKinstry reminds us at the beginning of this superb book, Rosebery passed into the language of the contemporary culture, and is still with us today, thanks to one of the most memorable of music-hall songs:

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