Volume LIV Number 7-8
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Macaulay: The Tragedy of Power, by Robert E. Sullivan; Harvard University Press, 2010, 624 pages, US$39.95.
Of those works published on Thomas Babington (later Lord) Macaulay (1800–1859), the most notable is the superb 1973 biography by John Leonard Clive, Thomas Babington Macaulay: The Shaping of the Historian, which describes the first half of the life of a highly talented and successful man of letters. In purchasing and then reading this latest biography of Macaulay, written, as it happens, by one of Clive’s students, I was expecting, even hoping, to find a warm, fond account of the Macaulay of the Essays and The History of England, the eminent literary figure of his day and popular historian who cast such a long shadow over his era. Instead, Sullivan’s Macaulay: The Tragedy of Power is a quite different book.
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