Groundbreaking in its approach, this is the definitive biography of William Pitt the Eldera brilliant, yet tragic, British statesman
Weaving together military history and political biography, Edward Pearce provides a portrait of Britain's leader during the Seven Years' War. Alongside detailed descriptions of battles in Europe and North America, we follow Pitt's career as a politicianone that was closely intertwined with General James Wolfe at Quebec; American independence; and, the slow mind of George III and the quick one of the rake and outsider John Wilkes. Posterity has invested Pitt with a mystique and presented him as heroic, a titan, a brilliant statesman, and military strategist. This book scrutinizes the reputation and investigates the extent to which Britain's victories and imperial advances can be credited to Pitt alone or to a coalition of commanders, naval administrators, and foreign allies. Pitt the man is also revealedvain, ruthless, tortured with physical illness, succumbing to mental collapse. This is a masterful portrait of arguably the most powerful minister ever to guide Britain's foreign policy and of an age that marked a new epoch in history, when the balance of power in Europe and the world was set for almost two centuries.