When Sir Eldon Gorst succeeded Lord Cromer as Agent and
Consul-General in Cairo in 1907, Britain effectively ruled Egypt
and the Sudan. The period Gorst spent in Egypt was critical
in shaping Africa''s history.
The British government gave Gorst the task of liberalising the
Egyptian regime, a role he pursued with vigour. However the
reforms he introduced satisfied neither Egyptian nationalists nor
British expatriates, who believed he was merely pandering to
agitators. Pressure increased after Boutros Ghali, the
Egyptian Prime Minister and Gorst''s close ally, was assassinated
in 1910. Under immense strain, Gorst suspended his reform
programme and a year later he was dead from cancer.
Gorst''s role in determining the path taken by the government of
Egypt is often overlooked. Power and Passion in
Egypt offers a timely assessment of his contribution and
argues that his was an honourable attempt to share government with
the Egyptian people.