Lord northcliffe

After Queen Victoria, the flood

Alwyn Turner writes early on that Little Englanders is ‘an attempt to take the temperature of the nation as it emerged from a century that had dominated the world and was beginning – whether it knew it or not – a long process of decline’. Perhaps for that reason, or perhaps because the high (and low) politics of the years from 1901 to 1914 – the Edwardian era continues for four years after the death of the eponymous sovereign, up to the lights going out all over Europe in August 1914 – have been so exhaustively covered in recent years, he tells his readers that he will draw heavily on

R.B. Haldane: a great public servant, much maligned

This is a strange but valuable book. The author is a private equity magnate, whose fascination for Richard Burdon Haldane dates back to his childhood. In his acknowledgments he admits he lacked the expertise to write a proper book about his hero, and so enlisted the help of a young scholar, Richard McLauchlan, credited on the title page (but not on the front cover) as having written the book in collaboration with him. The research has been done superlatively. The bibliographies for each chapter are extensive, and some interesting archival material is deployed, such as the diary of Haldane’s sister, to whom he was devoted. And the premise upon which