The Derbys of Knowsley Hall have been neglected by historians to an astonishing degree. In domestic political terms, the legacies of Disraeli and his Conservative successors have long obscured their Lancastrian aristocratic predecessors. As far as foreign policy is concerned, twentieth century politics and scholarship have often suggested crude polarities: for example, the idea of 'appeasement' versus Churchillian belligerence has its nineteenth century equivalent in Aberdeen's apparent rivalry with Palmerston. The subtleties of other views, such as those represented by the Derbys, have either been overlooked or misunderstood. In addition, the fact that much crucial archival and editorial work has only been carried out in the last two decades has had a significant impact. Examining a range of topics in domestic and foreign policy, this collection brings a fresh approach to the political history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through a series of innovative essays. It will appeal to those with an interest in the decline of the aristocracy, Victorian high politics and the politics of the regions, as well as the Conservative tradition in foreign policy.
'… reveal[s] the hidden forces behind British foreign policy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and examine the false impressions that have occurred. … deserve[s] to be read widely …' Victorian Studies 'Collectively, the essays offer a further corrective to a historiography of British foreign policy during the nineteenth century, dominated by Palmerston and Disraeli. Students and teachers of British foreign policy will derive much benefit from reading it.' History