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Melbourne

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Melbourne, by Cecil, David
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published October 28th 1974 by MacMillan Publishing Company (first published January 1st 1955)
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Czarny Pies
Aug 13, 2015 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
George Scott
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
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
Chris Coffman
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
Philip Lane
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
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
Hock Tjoa
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
Rachel Knowles
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
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.
Matt
Phenomenal work. One of the best biographies I have ever read and one of JKF's favorite books according to Life Magazine in 1961.
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.
Matthew Sutton
well-written biography about a fascinating english figure
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