18 APRIL 1952, Page 28

The Public Career of Sir James Graham.

By Arvel B. Erickson. (Blackwell. 32s.) IN the history of nineteenth-century reform politics Sir James Graham has his place as Peel 's chief lieutenant and Home Secretary in the great Ministry of 1841-6, and as the leader of the Peelites after Peel's death. His solid achievement as a political figure of the second rank and an enlightened adminis- trator are fully dealt with by the Professor of History at Western Reserve University in a work of pedestrian virtue. Even Professor Erickson's enthusiasm for his subject, however, can scarcely justify the claim that, next to Peel, Graham was " the ablest man in English public life from Waterloo to his death in 1861." Canning and Palmerston, not to mention the young Gladstone and Disraeli, might well have felt that this was putting it a bit high.

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