Edmund Burke: Volume II: 1784-1797

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

F. P. Lock has been Professor of English at Queen's University at Kingston, Canada, since 1987, having previously taught at the University of Queensland, Australia. A specialist in eighteenth-century studies, his previous books include The Politics of 'Gulliver's Travels' (1980), Swift's Tory Politics (1983), and Burke's 'Reflections on the Revolution in France' (1985). While researching his biography of Burke (the first volume of which appeared in 1999), he discovered about sixty new Burke letters, which have been published in the English Historical Review (1997-2003).

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Table of Contents


List of Plates     x
List of Figures     xii
List of Abbreviations     xiii
Picking up the Pieces, 1784-1785     1
A Pledge Redeemed, 1785-1786     50
In the Name of the Commons, 1786-1787     97
A Boundless Object, 1787-1788     139
Madness and Discord, 1788-1789     199
The Making of the Reflections, 1789-1790     243
Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790     285
Triumph and Tribulation, 1790-1791     332
A Uniform Whig, 1791-1792     379
Chained to an Oar, 1792-1794     430
A Withered Stump, 1794-1795     475
An Old Oak, 1795-1796     507
Sublime and Minute, 1796-1797     547
Index     587
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