Wed 17th Nov
Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
Lecture:"Lord Salisbury's Imperialist Vision"
by Andrew Roberts
at The Penthouse, 48/F Jardine House, One Connaught Place
Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, was Queen Victoria's longest-serving Prime Minister and the statesman who brought the British Empire to its largest-ever extent, and to the height of its late-Victorian prestige. In 1900, at the start of the last century, he stood pre-eminent as the most powerful man in the world. From his Jacobean palace at Hatfield, the birthplace of Elizabeth I, aristocratic, witty, brilliant, eccentric and ruthless, he brought a third of mankind under British sway.
Yet far from being a jingoistic expansionist, he formed a subtly ironic, detached and profoundly aristocratic view of empire. In his four terms as Foreign Secretary between 1878 and 1900 and his three premierships between 1885 and 1902, Salisbury pursued policies designed to foil foreign ambitions vis a vis the Empire, but Mr. Roberts presents a very different view of the man than his popular image suggests.
Prime minister at the time of the scramble for Africa, the Golden and Diamond Jubilees of Victoria R.I., the Two-Power Naval Standard, the Jameson Raid, the 'Splendid Isolation', the battle of Omdurman, the Boer War, the Boxer Rebellion, the death of Queen Victoria, and of course the negotiation of the Hong Kong lease, Salisbury's imperial legacy was as immense as it is controversial.
Andrew Roberts is one of the world's most distinguished historians. His biography of the Earl of Halifax, published in 1991, established his reputation, followed by Eminent Churchillians in 1994. In 1999, he published Salisbury: Victorian Titan, in 2001 Napoleon and Wellington, in 2003 Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership and, in 2004, What Might Have Been, a collection of twelve 'What If?' essays written by distinguished historians.
Mr. Roberts is currently writing a book entitled A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, bringing the story from the point that Sir Winston Churchill ended his Nobel-prize winning four-volume work to the present day, to be published in 2006. Mr. Roberts has received some 20 literary awards for his works, appears regularly on television and radio and writes for numerous newspapers and magazines.
This lecture is being held in the fine surroundings of the Jardine Penthouse. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend at HK$100 for Members, HK$150 for Members' guests and HK$200 for others. This includes a complimentary drinks reception prior to the lecture.