Taking centre stage

Posted by Tory Historian Friday, April 16, 2010 , ,

Tory Historian returns after an unconscionably long period of silence with news of a book, published in 2005 and bought in one of the few remaining second-hand bookshops in Charing Cross Road.

The Princess and the Politicians subtitled Sex, Intrigue and Diplomacy in Regency England is a biography of the Princess Lieven by one of our conservative (and Conservative) historians, John Charmley.

Tory Historian recalls the intriguing (in both senses of the word) character of the Princess Lieven appearing in history books as a minor character. That, says Professor Charmley, is how she has, quite erroneously in his opinion, viewed by historians who have too often assumed that politics remained an exclusively male sphere for the centuries before women had the vote.

Feminist historians, on the other hand, have not been particularly interested by aristocratic ladies who played a very large part in political life in Britain. As Professor Charmley does not add (perhaps he is being uncharacteristically charitable) this attitude has prevented many feminist historians from perceiving women's achievements in the past.

Nobody could call Professor Charmley a feminist (or any other kind of -ist) historian. His task here is to restore an important historical figure to her rightful place of which she has been deprived by being female, foreign and of somewhat lose morals.

More reports of the book will follow as Tory Historian progresses with the reading.


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