Lord Melbourne, 1779-1848

Hardcover | May 1, 1997

byL. G. Mitchell

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Lord Melbourne was Prime Minister of England from 1834-1841. As mentor and father-figure to the young Queen Victoria, he exerted considerable influence over the first few years of her reign. He was a man to whom career success came rather late - he was forty-eight years old before he held anymajor governmental office. In a profound way, his character and thinking had already been determined by experiences outside politics - particularly by his Whig social background and his disastrous marriage to Lady Caroline Lamb. In this, the first biography for twenty years, Leslie Mitchell usesthe Melbourne family papers to explore the man behind a politician at the heart of early Victorian politics. William Lamb, the second Viscount Melbourne, might have held office earlier had it not been for his marriage to Lady Caroline Ponsonby, whose scandalous public affaires (including one with Byron), preceded a descent into madness and separation from her husband. Her death in 1828 freed Melbourne totake up the career which was almost his birthright. His views and subsequent political rise and survival in high office (almost by accident rather than design), reveal much about the nature of Whig politics - operating as an extension of family relationships and the expression of the shared valuesof an elite. As Prime Minister, Melbourne became the closest adviser and father figure to the new queen, who was only eighteen years old at her accession in 1837. Her rejection of Melbourne on her marriage to Prince Albert was abrupt and devastating, and Melbourne never really recovered from it. He became amarginalized figure, out of step with the demands of a fast-changing, newly industrialized world. In this fascinating account, Leslie Mitchell fully explores the private and public life of a man destined for high office and greatly influenced by the women in his life.

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Lord Melbourne was Prime Minister of England from 1834-1841. As mentor and father-figure to the young Queen Victoria, he exerted considerable influence over the first few years of her reign. He was a man to whom career success came rather late - he was forty-eight years old before he held anymajor governmental office. In a profound way...

L. G. Mitchell is Fellow and Praelector in Modern History at University College, Oxford. The leading scholar of the Whigs, his many books include the highly praised Charles James Fox (OUP 1992).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.02 inPublished:May 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198205929

ISBN - 13:9780198205920

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Table of Contents

List of PlatesList of Genealogical TablesShort TitlesPart I1. A Whig Inheritance2. The Whig Context3. A Whig Education, 1779-18054. Marriage and Catastrophe, 1805-18165. Marriage and Nemesis, 1816-1828Part II6. Apprenticeship in Politics, 1806-18307. The Home Office, 1830-18348. Prime Minister, 1834-18419. Tories, Radicals, Irishmen, a King and Lord Grey, 1834-184110. Collapse from Within, 1837-1841Part III11. Women and Private Life, 1828-184112. Victoria, 1837-184113. The Last Years, 1841-1848Select BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`In this biography, an admirable mixture of the personal and the political, L G Mitchell does not hesitate to let his invesitagor's torch play on some dark places... the author...is very much the master of his material...comprehensive and persuasive.'Sunday Times