Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke by Richard Bourke

This is a lengthy, thorough, well-written and impressive achievement of a book. Richard Bourke’s greatest force lies maybe in the fact that he takes Burke seriously, and that he tries to re-construct the coherence behind his political thinking (from the advocate of the American rebellion to the defender of the Indians’ rights against Hastings and the East India Company to the counter-revolutionary author of the Reflections on the Revolution of France) and in so doing provides us with a heretofore missing insight into the mind of what was perhaps the greatest political thinker of his generation. Bourke’s bibliography is extensive and seemingly exhaustive.

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Insurrection: The British Experience 1795-1803 by Roger Wells

This impressive book is one of the two (!) that came out of Roger Wells’s PhD in the early 1980. Its re-edition was most necessary as it is a fountain of knowledge on Britain in the 1790s.

Wells wants to challenge the assumption that Britain did not experience a revolution because public opinion, or the ‘masses’, were not disaffected and remained loyal in the late 18th century.

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