1st Edition

Lord Dufferin, Ireland and the British Empire, c. 1820–1900
Rule by the Best?

ISBN 9780815368274
Published March 30, 2021 by Routledge
248 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book explores the life and career of Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava (1826–1902). Dufferin was a landowner in Ulster, an urbane diplomat, literary sensation, courtier, politician, colonial governor, collector, son, husband and father. The book draws on episodes from Dufferin’s career to link the landowning and aristocratic culture he was born into with his experience of governing across the British Empire, in Canada, Egypt, Syria and India. This book argues that there was a defined conception of aristocratic governance and purpose that infused the political and imperial world, and was based on two elements: the inheritance and management of a landed estate, and a well-defined sense of ‘rule by the best’. It identifies a particular kind of atmosphere of empire and aristocracy, one that was riven with tensions and angst, as those who saw themselves as the hereditary leaders of Britain and Ireland were challenged by a rising democracy and, in Ireland, by a powerful new definition of what Irishness was. It offers a new perspective on both empire and aristocracy in the nineteenth century, and will appeal to a broad scholarly audience and the wider public.

Table of Contents

 Prologue 1

1. Introducing Dufferin 4

2. Property 27

3. Irish questions: the empire within 53

4. Will to rule 83

5. Remits of power: governing the self-governed 112

6. Man on the spot: Dufferin as imperial problem solver 141

7. Ornamental empire?: Dufferin as viceroy 164

Conclusion: decline and fall 202

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Annie Tindley is Professor of British and Rural History at Newcastle University.