Balfour: A Political Biography
This biography analyses the long political career of Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930), the Conservative politician who became the first Earl of Balfour. Professor Zebel stresses the extraordinary nature of Balfour's career, divided as it was into two specific periods. The first, dating from his entry into Parliament in 1874, and his rapid advancement as a result of family connections, comprised his period as Chief Secretary for Ireland in which he distinguished himself with his policy of 'killing Home Rule with kindness' - his leadership of the Unionists in the House of Commons, and his premiership from 1902 to 1905 in succession to his uncle, Lord Salisbury. The second, beginning in 1914, followed the period of political retirement which resulted from his party's defeat in the 1906 elections and his own loss of the party leadership in 1911. It was the more constructive.
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