This is the second and concluding volume of a biography of Edmund Burke (1730-97), a key figure in eighteenth-century British and Irish politics and intellectual life. Covering the most interesting years of his life (1784-97), its leading themes are India and the French Revolution. Burke was largely responsible for the impeachment of Warren Hastings, former Governor-General of Bengal. The lengthy (145-day) trial of Hastings (which lasted from 1788 to 1795) is
recognized as a landmark episode in the history of Britain's relationship with India. Lock provides the first day-by-day account of the entire trial, highlighting some of the many disputes about evidence as well as the great set speeches by Burke and others.
In 1790, Burke published Reflections on the Revolution in France , the earliest sustained attack on the principles of the Revolution. Continuously in print ever since, the Reflections remains the most widely read and quoted book about the Revolution. The Reflections was followed by a series of anti-revolutionary writings, as Burke maintained his crusade against the Revolution to the end of his life.
In addition to these leading themes, the biography examines many other topics in its coverage of Burke's busy and varied life: his parliamentary career; his family, friendships, and philanthropy; and his often difficult and obsessive personality. There are more than thirty illustrations, including many contemporary caricatures that convey how Burke was perceived by an often hostile and uncomprehending public. Controversial in his time, Burke is now regarded as one of the greatest of orators in
the English language, as well as one of the most influential political philosophers in the Western tradition.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 648
Weight: 970 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 35 mm
With this fine volume, Professor Lock brings to a conclusion his distinguished biography of one of the most important political thinkers of eighteenth-century Europe...impressive...an outstanding study, which will for the foreseeable future remain the standard authority on Burke's career. It has the merits of lucidity, accessibility and depth of learning, and it leaves historians very much in its author's debt. * G.M. Ditchfield, The English Historical Review *
F.P. Lock's monumental biography...involve a full exposition of his political philosophy...he has immersed himself in the manuscripts, editions and variants of Burke's writings to chart the development of his views. * Chris Jones British Association for Romantic Studies *
[A] meticulous and massive biography...Helped by the bedrock of collected scholarly editions of Burke's letters, writings and speeches, he can raise this splendid monument. Refreshingly free of jargon and interpretative whimsies - he nods ritually to 'otherness and alienation' only once - this is a study which will endure. * Toby Barnard, Times Literary Supplement *