PERRY GAUCI    Book Number: 80954    Product format: Hardback

Sub-titled 'First Prime Minister of the London Empire' this is the first-ever biography of William Beckford to provide a unique look at 18th century British history from the perspective of the colonies. Even in his own time, Beckford was seen as a metaphor for the dramatic changes occurring. He was born in 1709 into a family of wealthy sugar planters living in Jamaica, when the colonies were still peripheral to Britain. By the time he died in 1770, the colonies loomed large and were considered the source of Britain's growing global power. Beckford grew his fortune in Jamaica but spent most of his adult life in London, where he was elected Lord Mayor twice. He was one of the few politicians to have experienced imperial growing pains on both sides of the Atlantic and experience existing political, social and cultural changes. The book illuminates not only a major political and plutocratic actor, but also the often radicalised nature of liberty in the 18th century world. The book tantalising suggests that Beckford's gamble in embracing the cause of John Wilkes was linked to the growing disaffection in America. We must remember that Beckford was master of the largest slave plantation in the British Empire and this in effect is a history of freedom and slavery which are intimately connected and help us better understand British Caribbean history. 290pp written by an Oxford University scholar, a Yale University Press publication with illus and map.
Published price: £34
Bibliophile price: £4.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9780300166750
Browse these categories as well: Historical Biography, History

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