Considering the importance of Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings and 2nd Earl of Moira, it is surprising that no full-length biography has been written about him. The only significant studies of his career have been analysis of his role as governor-general of India in the early nineteenth century. Paul David Nelson's study rectifies this situation by providing a well-crafted scholarly analysis of the life of Lord Hastings. He covers in depth all aspects of the man's multifaceted career as a professional soldier, peer in the House of Lords, and governor-general of India. He also provides a character study of this intelligent, affable man, pointing out his strengths as a father, husband, and friend. In the process, Nelson does not lose sight of Hastings's personal ineptitude. He shows how the marquess ran up debts of nearly 1,000,000 by the time of his death and left his family almost penniless. The most important role that Hastings played was as a soldier in the British army. He was a young officer during the American war, fighting at Bunker Hill in 1775 as a lieutenant in the grenadier company of the 5th Regiment. Distinguishing himself, he was promoted captain and appointed aide-de-camp to General Henry Clinton. He went on to lead the Volunteers of Ireland, serve as adjutant general under Clinton, and to command an independent army in South Carolina in 1780-81. As governor-general of India from 1813 to 1823, he successfully led campaigns against the Nepalese, Pindaris, and Marathas. Hastings's second most important role was as an administrator in India. Although supported by able civilian subordinates, he sometimes made poor choices in his own appointments and became mired in the cloudy dealings of the Palmer Company. He was not guilty of any chicanery, but his reputation was marred by his defense of some questionable company activities. Hastings's third role was as a politician in the House of Lords. Here he was least successful, partly because he was not ruthless enough to rise to the
|Publisher:||Fairleigh Dickinson University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Paul David Nelson is Julian-Van Dusen Professor of American History at Berea College. He received his bachelor's degree from Berea College in 1965, his master's degree in history from Duke University in 1968, and his PhD in Early American History from Duke in 1970. He taught in the History Department of Villanova University in 1969-70, then returned to Berea College, where he was remained. He has published seven other books: General Horatio Gates: A Biography; Anthony Wayne: Soldier of the Early Republic; William Alexander, Lord Stirling (reissued in paperback as The Life of William Alexander, Lord Stirling: George Washington's Noble General); William Tryon and the Course of Empire: A Life in British Imperial Service; Sir Charles Grey, First Earl Grey: Royal Soldier, Family Patriarch (FDUP, 1996); and General Guy Carleton, Lord Dorchester: Soldier-Statesman of Early British Canada (FDUP, 1999). He has also written many articles, books reviews, and biographical sketches for American National Biography, World Book Encyclopedia, and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.