By D. Leonard
In the course of the process the 20 th century, nineteen males and one woman--from the 3rd Marquis of Salisbury to Tony Blair--have occupied the publish of major Minister of the uk. In a sequence of biographical essays, Dick Leonard, a number one political journalist and previous MP, recounts the conditions that took them to the head of ''the greasy pole'', probes their own and political strengths and weaknesses, assesses their functionality within the most sensible place of work and asks what lasting impression they've got had.
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Additional info for A Century of Premiers: Salisbury to Blair
His perceptive analysis could equally apply to the 54year-old who became Prime Minister in 1902: ‘Playful little Arthur, he/ Cannot take things seriously’. Works consulted Churchill, Winston, Great Contemporaries, London, Thornton Butterworth, 1937. H. Allen, 1987. , Balfour: Intellectual Statesman, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1985. Ridley, Jane, and Clayre Percy, The Letters of Arthur Balfour and Lady Elcho 1985–1917, London, Hamish Hamilton, 1992. Young, Kenneth, Arthur James Balfour, London, Bell, 1963.
Had he still been at the height of his powers, it is scarcely conceivable that the war would have broken out or that it would have been prosecuted with such little sense of purpose. Yet, even when Queen Victoria died in 1901, Salisbury did not take the obvious opportunity of standing down, but laboured on for nearly two more years. His clinging to office was not the least paradox of his career, for he had been genuinely unwilling to take office, seeking to 22 A Century of Premiers excuse himself on each of the first two occasions when the Queen had summoned him to take charge.
He was the third child, and the eldest son, of James Maitland Balfour, a country landowner and local Tory MP who had inherited a large fortune and estate (Whittingehame in East Lothian) from his own father, who had made a fortune as a contractor in India. James Maitland Balfour died at the age of 36, when Arthur was only seven, and he was brought up by his strong-minded mother, Lady Blanche Balfour, sister of Lord Salisbury, who at the age of 31 was left with eight young children to raise. Lady Blanche devoted herself entirely to the educational and moral instruction of her children, widening their intellectual horizons, fostering their curiosity and giving them a firm basis of religious belief.
A Century of Premiers: Salisbury to Blair by D. Leonard