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Robert Peel By Rt. Hon Lord Douglas Hurd

Robert Peel
by Rt. Hon Lord Douglas Hurd

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Life of one of the greatest British Prime Ministers - by an author who knows the scene from his years as a senior Minister in Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet.
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Robert Peel Summary

Robert Peel: A Biography by Rt. Hon Lord Douglas Hurd

Robert Peel, as much as any man in the nineteenth century, transformed Great Britain into a modern nation. He invented our police force, which became a model for the world. He steered through the Bill which allowed Catholics to sit in Parliament. He reorganised the criminal justice system. He put Britain back on the gold standard; he invented the Conservative Party which we know today. He sent his constituents at Tamworth the first modern election manifesto. He settled Canada's border with the United States. Above all he tackled poverty by repealing the Corn Laws. Thanks to Peel the most powerful trading nation chose free trade and opened the door for our globalised world of today. Peel was not all politics. He built two great houses, filled them with famous pictures and was devoted to a beautiful wife. Yet he was a stiff, not easy to know. 'Such a cold odd man' wrote Queen Victoria - who later became a keen admirer - and Disraeli attacked him for dishonesty. Many followers never forgave him for splitting his Party. But when in 1850 he was carried home after a fall from his horse crowds gathered outside, mainly of working people, to read the medical bulletins. When he died a few days later, factories closed, flags flew at half mast and thousands contributed small sums to memorials in his honour. He was the man who provided cheap bread and sacrificed his career for the welfare of ordinary people. Douglas Hurd, like Peel, was Home Secretary and argued for Peel's One Nation philosophy. He too lived through a time of conflict in the Conservative Party and has watched its defeat and rebirth. In this biography, with one eye on the present, he charts Peel's life and work through the dramas of nineteenth-century politics.

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Robert Peel Reviews

'Hurd's impressive and entertaining biography.' -- John Stevens THE TIMES 'Hurd delivers a vivid and readable portrait of a semi-modern British titan. This biography is elegantly written, well researched and (usually) admirably sensible in its judgements.' -- Simon Sebag Montefiore THE NEW STATESMAN 'intelligent rich reding with a lovely droll tone.' -- Duncan Fallowell THE DAILY EXPRSS 'The author has a good grasp of the period, he has done a great deal of homework, and he has shaped the story magnificiently.' -- AN Wilson THE DAILY MAIL 'Hurd's portrait of Peel is sympathetic, pleasantly written and generally judicious in its judgements' -- Harry Reid THE GLASGOW HERALD 'Hurd's analysis of Conservative ultras up to the present day is illuminating... It has certainly not surprised Hurd, who has made a useful contribution to our understanding of this midwife to modern and post-modern policing.' -- John Grieve THE GUARDIAN 'Douglas Hurd's fascinating, eminenty readable biography of Peel' THE ECONOMIST 'Hurd writes well, and the book has the merit of bringing Peel alive as a human being.' -- Jane Ridley THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'this warm, sensible biography of Peel does a fine job of rescuing an important figure from relative obscurity.' -- Dominic Sandbrook THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Hurd's finely judged biography.' -- Blair Worden THE SPECTATOR 'competently researched, well written and thoughtful reassessement of a major 19th century statesman.' -- Keith Simpson HOUSE MAGAZINE 'The book is rich in every respect.' -- Mark Stuart THE SCOTSMAN 'Hurd has produced a fascinating glimpse of Georgian/Victorian Britain which deserves commendation for its attention to details and clear exposition of the life of one of Britain's great prime ministers and political reformers -- Lord MacKenzie of Framwellgate Jane's Police Review 'Hurd's biography of Peel canters through his career, and is liberally interspersed with contemporary observations.' -- Martin Mansergh THE IRISH TIMES 'As an established novelist it is not surprising that Hurd's book is any easy read.' -- Ronan O'Brien SUNDAY TRIBUNE

About Rt. Hon Lord Douglas Hurd

Former diplomat, private secretary to Edward Heath (as Ldr of the Opposition and as PM); MP 1974-97. Served Margaret Thatcher as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, as Home Secretary and as Foreign Secretary.

Additional information

Robert Peel: A Biography by Rt. Hon Lord Douglas Hurd
Rt. Hon Lord Douglas Hurd
Used - Very Good
Orion Publishing Co
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.