Curzon by David Gilmour
Imperial Statesman

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“A Superb New Biography . . . A Tragic Story, Brilliantly Told.” —Andrew Roberts, Literary Review

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—with a new foreword by the author—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 emerges as a complex, tragic figure, a gifted leader who saw his imperial world overshadowed at the dawn of democracy.


About David Gilmour

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David Gilmour is the author of several highly acclaimed works of literary and political history, including two prize-winning biographies, Curzon and The Last Leopard: A Life of Giuseppe di Lampedusa. He lives in Edinburgh.
Published February 7, 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 704 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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yet he dismissed those ancestors as “a feeble lot,” arguing that the family would not have possessed the same estate since the 12th century “had they manifested the very slightest energy or courage.” Say what you will about his beliefs—and plenty of critics, including Winston Churchill and Lloyd ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Gilmour—who learned much about Lord Curzon from writing a recent biography of Curzon's cousin, Rudyard Kipling—has produced an absorbing life, 200 pages longer than Kenneth Rose's stylish but misshapen Superior Person.

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London Review of Books

A building inhabited by George Nathaniel Curzon became a building with a history – one written by himself.

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