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This book offers a readable yet scholarly account of the life of one of the greatest statesmen of empire, William Pitt the Elder, First Earl of Chatham (1708-78). Chatham is seen as a political outsider who rose to direct British policy in the Seven Years War, the crucial struggle that gave Canada to Britain. A critic of domestic corruption, he was subsequently a champion of American liberties. Chatham's achievement was all the more remarkable for a politician who was dogged for much of his life by poor physical health and considerable mental stress. His position as an outsider was crucial: it helped make his reputation, and to make him an unsettling figure. It also caused problems when he gained office, but it ensured Chatham was and seemed, 'different'. He was a man with whom the national interest could be associated, not simply because he made the claim himself, but also because he seemed apart from the world of court and connection.
1. A political outsider and his world; 2. A very inflammatory politician: the rise to high office, 1735-1756; 3. War minister; 4. 'Greatness going off? Pitt, 1761-1778; 5. Chatham as Hanoverian Patriot.