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Melbourne

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Melbourne, by Cecil, David
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published October 1st 1974 by MacMillan Publishing Company (first published January 1st 1955)
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Kelly
This probably deserves a three overall, but I can't bring myself to do it, which probably says something. Worth it and I really hope I get to review this soon.
Czarny Pies
Jun 08, 2015 Czarny Pies rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who want to be reassured that we commoners truly are inferior to the nobility.
Shelves: european-history
Lord David Cecil's Melbourne is a stunningly, beautiful tribute to its subject. Readers who believe in egalitarian democracy will find it to be balderdash from beginning to end but must still concede that it is radiant balderdash. Moreover, the book provides a glorious account of the turbulent romance of his wife Caroline Lamb with the great poet Byron as well as a moving description of his tender relationship with the young Queen Victoria. All in all, for those can resist cynicism, Melbourne pl ...more
Hock Tjoa
Feb 09, 2011 Hock Tjoa rated it it was amazing
Cecil transports us to the very highest strata of early Victorian society; Melbourne was Victoria's first prime minister and treated the young queen with courtesy, humor and wisdom. She trusted him and support his Whig policies. She did not like Peel or Gladstone but succumbed to Disraeli's charms.

The chapter that shows Melbourne in his declining years is perhaps one of the saddest I have read; it is perhaps what Mr. Chips encountered when he aged and saw new generations of teachers and students
...more
Billie Pritchett
Would you be interested in reading a book about a 21st-century House of Representative from Vermont? How about a 19th-century House Rep? Or a 19th-century Parliamentarian? David Cecil's Melbourne is a biography about a 19th-century Parliamentarian named William Lamb. A Wiki search has him listed as the "2nd Viscount Melbourne." He's also known as Lord Melbourne.

The book focuses mostly on Lord Melbourne's young life, having grown up to a wealthy family and later marrying a woman named Caroline, a
...more
Cindy
Feb 25, 2017 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
well executed biographies with much insight into the times and culture
Chris Coffman
Feb 02, 2008 Chris Coffman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally, on a slightly different tangent, I was reading GRACE AND POWER by Sally Bedell Smith. GRACE AND POWER is about John and Jackie Kennedy, and the book mentions that as a young man in London John Kennedy was fascinated by the biography of William Lamb, Lord Melbourne, written by Lord David Cecil. (it may be recalled that Lord Melbourne’s wife Caroline was infatuated with Byron and famously referred to him as “mad, bad and dangerous to know”.)

Apparently John Kennedy was fascinated by the ri
...more
Lisa
I have read this before and it's the most wonderful book. It was supposed to be John F.Kennedy's favourite book! I can see why.

David Cecil paints an enchanting account of Lord Melbourne's life from his troubled relationship with his imposing and rather immoral mother and his marriage to the beautiful Lady Caroline to his fatherly love for the young Queen Victoria.

His analysis of Lord Melbourne's pragmatic and compromising character is brilliant. The section on the differences between Melbourne a
...more
George Scott
Jan 22, 2015 George Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
An utterly marvellous book, my copy of which was given to me by my godfather from his school's history library when he retired as head of department. Lord David Cecil presents an excellent life of one of Britain's least-known and most underrated First Lords of the Treasury: William, Lord Melbourne. Sometimes sad, as when discussing Lady Caroline Lamb's post-marital conduct, sometimes funny, as when dealing with Melbourne's reactions to Anabaptists, Puseyites, and Canadian rebellions, and sometim ...more
Philip Lane
Aug 11, 2014 Philip Lane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely fascinating biography of a man I knew very little about. Cecil has a very easy chatty style which makes the history very accessible. I felt a great deal of personal sympathy for Melbourne and whilst his early life was interesting it was his later relationship with Queen Victoria which really made the book special. I found the revelations about how important they were to each other quite spellbinding and would love to see that portrayed in a film or drama series. A book I would happily ...more
Rachel Knowles
Oct 21, 2012 Rachel Knowles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is a well-written biography of William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, husband of the notorious Lady Caroline Lamb and Prime Minister to Queen Victoria.

I found the exposition of his character and personal life fascinating, but struggled with all the political details of his life in public office.
Toni
Nov 12, 2011 Toni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been listed as President John Kennedy's favorite book. It was difficult to attain- libraries or used book stores. I would recommend it to anyone highly interested in British history and politics.
Matthew
Jun 09, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it
well-written biography about a fascinating english figure
Mark
Jan 11, 2008 Mark marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to me by a friend as beautifully written, and John F. Kennedy's favorite books.
Matt
Nov 28, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal work. One of the best biographies I have ever read and one of JKF's favorite books according to Life Magazine in 1961.
Allen
Sep 12, 2015 Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What racy lives some of the Whigs lived in 19th century England. Lord David Cecil is very frank in describing Lord Melbourne's family. The relationship with young Queen Victoria is moving.
Erica
Erica rated it really liked it
Sep 24, 2010
Meredith Allady
Meredith Allady rated it liked it
Apr 18, 2013
Peter
Peter rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2012
Keith
Keith rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2010
Deb
Mar 27, 2017 Deb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began reading this tome after becoming intrigued by the character of "Lord M" in the PBS series about Queen Victoria. I should perhaps have looked for a slightly more modern biography (this one was first published in 1939). Cecil was certainly thoroughly and appropriately analytical for the biographer of a Great Man, but his stiff phrasing and circumlocuitous way of making his point wore on me after a while. Like many people, Melbourne was both romantic and practical, generous and self-indulge ...more
Kevin Hartigan
Kevin Hartigan rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2015
Helen Andrews
Helen Andrews rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2016
Becky Terry
Becky Terry rated it liked it
Feb 28, 2014
Robert Oberst
Robert Oberst rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2016
Patrick
Patrick rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2017
John  Ervin
John Ervin rated it it was amazing
Oct 22, 2009
Janet
Janet rated it it was amazing
Aug 17, 2007
Hugh MacNab
Hugh MacNab rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2016
William Brown
William Brown rated it liked it
Dec 13, 2016
Rick Folker
Rick Folker rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2017
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