WILLIAM PITT THE YOUNGER: A BIOGRAPHY
William Pitt the Younger was one of the most extraordinary figures in British history, who became Prime Minister in 1783 at the remarkable age of twenty-four. In this lively and authoritative biography, William Hague explains the dramatic events and exceptional abilities which allowed extreme youth to be combined with great power. “A perfect match of author and subject” says HarperCollins.
The brilliant son of a father who was also Prime Minister, Pitt was derided as a ‘schoolboy’ when he took office. Yet within months he had outwitted his opponents, and he went on to dominate the political scene for twenty-two years (nineteen of them as Prime Minister). No British politician since has exercised such supremacy for so long.
Pitt’s personality has always been hard to unravel. Generally thought of as cold and aloof, he was described by friends as the wittiest man they ever knew. By seeing him through the eyes of a politician, William Hague succeeds in explaining Pitt’s actions and motives through a series of great national crises, including the madness of George III, the impact of the French Revolution and the trauma of the Napoleonic Wars. He describes how a man dedicated to peace became Britain’s longest-serving war leader, how Pitt the liberal reformer became Pitt the author of repression, and how – though undisputed master of the nation’s finances – he died with vast personal debts.
With its rich cast of characters, including Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Edmund Burke, and set against a backdrop of industrial revolution and global conflict, this is history at its most riveting.
PUBLICATION DATE: September 2004View all Books