Sir Robert Peel: Statesmanship, Power and Party by Eric J. Evans (Emeritus Professor, Lancaster University, UK)
Drawing on the conclusions of recent research, this book takes a more critical view of Peel's political career than is conventionally offered. It argues that, although Peel was an efficient administrator and a dominant political leader in the 1830s and 1840s, he lacked both intellectual flexibility and political sensitivity. His arrogance and inflexibility rather than the inadequacies of his backbenchers, were largely responsible for the break-up of the Conservative party in 1846 and for its generation in the political wilderness thereafter.
Completing the trilogy of Great Victorian Prime Ministers in the Lancaster Pamphlet series, Professor Evans's reassessment of Peel's career sheds light both on a major political figure and, more widely, on party politics in the first half of the nineteenth century.