The Fifth Earl of Rosebery was the most glamorous politician of the late Victorian age. Charismatic, enlightened, wealthy and intellectually brilliant, he captivated the masses and charmed colleagues and was the natural successor when Gladstone retired in 1894. Though he spent less than two years in Downing Street, he always remained a glittering political star. Yet he never attained the true greatness that was within his grasp. The problem lay in his complex personality. Self-centred, impulsive and neurotic, as Prime Minister he was crippled by insomnia and virtually had a nervous breakdown. After retiring from the Liberal Leadership in 1896, he became an increasingly solitary, brooding figure. Using a wealth of archival material, award-winning author Leo McKinstry covers every aspect of Lord Rosebery?s magnetic, eccentric character and his life, including his devotion to horse-racing, his literary achievements and his anguished private life in widowhood. Through original research, he provides fresh insights into the man and his involvement in some of the most controversial episodes of the era, from the Jameson Raid to the trial of Oscar Wilde.
Leo McKinstry writes regularly for the Daily Mail, Sunday Telegraph and Spectator . He has also written five books including a study of the Labour Party and a best-selling biography of the footballing Charlton brothers. Born in Belfast he was educated in Ireland and at Cambridge University.