Norman Gash's magnificent two-volume life of Sir Robert Peel - Mr Secretary Peel (1961) and Sir Robert Peel (1972) - is the standard work on the great statesman, and is widely considered one of the great biographies of nineteenth-century prime ministers. Faber Finds is delighted to return both to print.
In this second volume, Gash focuses on the years between 1830 and 1850, the height of Peel's political career, which included his two terms as prime minister, the controversial repeal of the Corn Laws, and his reform of the Conservative Party.
'In ... his masterly biography, covering Peel's career from the Reform Crisis to his untimely death in 1850, Professor Gash shows himself not merely an admirer but an emulator - brilliant intellect, master of detail, man of conservative but humane conscience.' Harold Perkin, Guardian
'Norman Gash's Sir Robert Peel shows how high and austere academic writing about a major figure is compatible with an outstanding general biography.' Roy Jenkins, Observer
'In Mr Secretary Peel, the first volume of this biography, he provided a rich and perceptive portrait of a statesman in the making. Now at last he has completed one of the great biographies of our time.' Philip Ziegler, Daily Telegraph
'Sir Robert Peel by Norman Gash ranks with the great political biographies of the past, a classic work in both scholarship and presentation.' A. J. P. Taylor, New Statesman
Norman Gash was born in India in 1912. In 1933 he took a First in Modern History at St John's College, Oxford. During the Second World War he served in military intelligence and rose to the rank of major. In 1953 he published Politics in the Age of Peel, and after two years at the University of Leeds he was appointed Professor of History at St Andrews, a position he held until 1980. His other publications included The Age of Peel (1968); Reaction and Reconstruction in English Politics, 1832-1852 (1966); Lord Liverpool (1984); Pillars of Government (1986); and Aristocracy and People: England 1815-1865 (1979). He was appointed CBE in 1989, and died in 2009.