William Beckford: First Prime Minister of the London Empire - The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History (Hardback)Dr Perry Gauci (author)
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Beckford grew his fortune in Jamaica, but he spent most of his adult life in London, where he was elected Lord Mayor twice. He was one of the few politicians to have experienced imperial growing pains on both sides of the Atlantic, and his life offers a riveting look at how the expanding empire challenged existing political, social, and cultural norms.
Publisher: Yale University Press
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 27 mm
"This study is entirely original. The author is a very fine scholar: intelligent, well-organized, and deeply learned with a greater knowledge of available sources than anyone else in the world. A fine work of scholarship."-Harry Dickinson, University of Edinburgh -- Harry Dickinson
"In this important and much needed study, Perry Gauci places Beckford in a transatlantic context and tantalizingly suggests that Beckford's gamble in embracing the cause of John Wilkes was linked to the growing disaffection in America. Presenting the contradiction between Beckford the proponent of liberty and Beckford, master of the largest slave plantations in the British Empire, the book is further ammunition for those who argue that histories of freedom and slavery are intimately connected."-Andrew O'Shaughnessy, author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire -- Andrew O'Shaughnessy
"It is Perry Gauci's achievement to have brought Beckford to life in a work of high scholarship and to have unpacked his complexities. His book illumines not only a major political and plutocratic actor, but also the often racialized nature of liberty in the 18th-century world."-Linda Colley, Princeton University -- Linda Colley
"Perry Gauci has written a multi-level biography of one of the most beguiling imperial architects of the eighteenth century and arguably the most frequently referenced yet least understood figure in British Caribbean history."-Simon Smith, University of Oxford -- Simon Smith
"Gauci shows how William Beckford entered English politics with experience as a colonial Assemblyman and how his West India fortune sustained Beckford's place in English affairs. Gauci's wide-ranging curiosity will enable readers on both sides of the Atlantic to reevaluate the phenomenon of Alderman Beckford."-James Robertson, University of the West Indies -- James Robertson
`Perry Gauci offers the first full-bodied account of Beckford, using his biography to tell two intertwined stories about the impact of empire.'-David Hancock, Times Literary Supplement -- David Hancock * Times Literary Supplment *
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