Charles James Fox

Charles James Fox

by L.G. Mitchell
     
 

Charles James Fox was one of the most colorful figures in eighteenth-century politics. Notorious for the excesses of his private life, he was at the same time one of the leading politicians of his generation, dominating the Whig party and polite society. As the political rival of Pitt the Younger and the intellectual rival of Edmund Burke, his views on the major

Overview

Charles James Fox was one of the most colorful figures in eighteenth-century politics. Notorious for the excesses of his private life, he was at the same time one of the leading politicians of his generation, dominating the Whig party and polite society. As the political rival of Pitt the Younger and the intellectual rival of Edmund Burke, his views on the major issues of the day—the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, parliamentary reform—formed the character of Whiggery in his own time and for years to come. Fox's historical reputation has been hotly disputed. Some have hailed him as one of the founding fathers of Radicalism, others have dismissed him as an irritating and irresponsible impediment to the statesmanship of Pitt. Mitchell's scholarly biography shows that in many ways Fox was a politician through circumstance, not kinship and friendship which to an astonishing degree dictated Fox's politics, and offers striking new assessments of Whiggery and its most potent personality. This penetrating and readable study reveals the man and his mind, and sets Fox firmly within the political and social context of the late eighteenth century.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A distinguished biography of Charles James Fox, easily the best to date. His first two chapters, on Fox's career to 1782, are brilliant and gracefully written essays....A fine work and most welcome."—American Historical Review

"Mitchell...has crafted a biographical gem....A work of remarkable compression and lucidity....Scholars and general readers alike will welcome Mitchell's excellent biography."—The Historian

"Undoubtedly the best account of Fox's career to be written so far—scholarly, lucid, perceptive and unfailingly humane."—Times Literary Supplement

"It is greatly to the credit of the author of this book that he does not only tell the life story of his subject, but also seeks to explain, and indeed to appraise, the legend that for almost 200 years now has gathered around his name."—The Sunday Times (London)

"So good that we can now quite happily wait another 20 years before we'll need any more [biographies]....Mitchell has produced as definitive a biography as it is possible to write of a personality as huge and diverse as Charles James Fox."—Sunday Telegraph

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198201045
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/28/1992
Pages:
356
Product dimensions:
6.75(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.05(d)

Meet the Author

University College, Oxford

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