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Reviews of “The Late Lord”

The Late Lord is based on impressive research in the archives and published sources and the author is completely at home in the period. Reiter’s judgment is thoughtful, perceptive and well balanced, while her prose is lively and entertaining. After two hundred years of neglect, Chatham has been immensely fortunate in being the subject of such a fine biography.”

(Rory Muir, author of ‘Wellington: the Path to victory’ and ‘Wellington: Waterloo and the Fortunes of Peace’)

“Jacqueline Reiter has provided an invaluable service in seeking out the ‘late Lord’ and producing a much needed account of his life and career. Her book is brimming with emotional intelligence and intuition about her subject’s mind. The prose zips along at a merry pace but is based on a vast amount of primary research and a mastery of detail. In the event, we not only get to see the world through Chatham’s eyes, but have fresh first-hand insights on some of the most important political and military events of the era. The result is a book that is both charming and hugely impressive as a feat of scholarship.”

(John Bew, author of ‘Castlereagh: Enlightenment, war and Tyranny’)

“John Pitt, the 2nd Earl of Chatham, is an enigmatic figure often quickly dismissed in histories of the Napoleonic Wars as being indolent, ineffectual and over-shadowed by more illustrious family members. He was particularly blighted by his perceived poor leadership of the notorious Walcheren expedition. In a long overdue reassessment Jacqueline Reiter gives a detailed portrait of this complex man and a fresh insight into the political and military events of the period. Whilst being undeniably lazy and unable to make his own luck, he emerges as being sensible and capable. The author’s extensive archival research also reveals the calamitous impact of his beloved wife’s illness in the later years of his career. For the first time we have a three dimensional view of Chatham. This excellent biography is as readable as it is erudite.”

(Martin R. Howard, author of ‘Walcheren 1809’)

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