||David Gilmour's biography of George Nathaniel Curzon, the Viceroy of India who served under Queen Victoria, recounts the colorful career of the larger-than-life figure who was considered by some to have been a great administrator, and by others to represent the worst of Britain's imperial past. Gilmour shows Curzon to have been among the best and the brightest of his time, possessing a deep and broad knowledge of the subcontinent, and he portrays the British Empire at its greatest height and at the dawn of its decline.
||"Elegant biography . . . a fast-moving, entertaining, and finely written story." --Simon Schama, The New Yorker George Nathaniel Curzon's controversial life in public service stretched from the high noon of his country's empire to the traumatized years following World War I. As viceroy of India under Queen Victoria and foreign secretary under King George V, the obsessive Lord Curzon left his unmistakable mark on the era. David Gilmour's award-winning book is a brilliant assessment of Curzon's character and achievements, offering a richly dramatic account of the infamous long vendettas, the turbulent friendships, and the passionate, risky love affairs that complicated and enriched his life. Born into the ruling class of what was then the world's greatest power, Curzon was a fervent believer in British imperialism who spent his life proving he was fit for the task. Often seen as arrogant and tempestuous, he was loathed as much as he was adored, his work disparaged as much as it was admired. In Gilmour's well-rounded appraisal, Curzon is seen as a complex, tragic figure, a gifted leader who saw his imperial world overshadowed at the dawn of democracy.