Whilst serving in the prestigious post of Viceroy of India between 1926 and 1931, Lord Irwin (later the Earl of Halifax) was kept informed about political events in Britain by frequent and lengthy letters from Cabinet Ministers, senior Conservative MPs and other prominent figures, such as the editor of The Times. Covering events from the General Strike of May 1926 to Irwin’s negotiation of a pact with Gandhi in March 1931, these private and previously unpublished letters mix analysis and gossip. They offer a frank account from within the highest political circles of the Baldwin government of 1924-29 and the serious crisis in the Conservative Party which followed in 1929-31. There is also much commentary on major figures such as Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and Ramsay MacDonald. Of great depth and richness, and emanating from experienced and shrewd political insiders, this collection is an essential historical source for British history between the two world wars.
Stuart Ball is Professor of Modern British History at the University of Leicester, and a leading authority on the history of the Conservative Party. His previous books include Winston Churchill (British Library, 2003) and Portrait of a Party: The Conservative Party in Britain 1918-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2013).
’This collection will provide a useful supplement to the series of primary source documents published on interwar Conservative politics, which has been notably bolstered in recent years by the publication of major volumes of correspondence produced by Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin. It will be a useful resource for those with an interest in Conservative politics, Anglo-Indian relations, and interwar British politics more broadly.’ Twentieth Century British History