This richly detailed and engrossing biography, a fine companion volume to William Hague’s life of Pitt, will still many arguments and feed others. Two hundred years ago the Act abolishing the slave trade was, as it remains, a beacon of humanitarian legislation, a defining moment when morality met commerce in open battle and won a famous victory. The anniversary has loosed a flood of opinions, apologies and accusations and too often the voice of William Wilberforce has been drowned. Hague restores him to his proper place, as lynchpin of the movement, though he was certainly one man among many. Thomas Clarkson did far more research, for instance. Without Pitt, Grenville, Hannah More, Sharp, Equiano, James Stephen, Macaulay, the thousands of petitioners in Britain and the pressure from slaves and freed slaves, the Act would not have been passed.