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On August 12, 1822, Lord Castlereagh, Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons, cut his throat. What were the circumstances that led to such a desperate act? For over a century speculation has multiplied.
In this book, which contains a detailed account of the events and people leading to Lord Castlereagh's suicide, the author not only follows up the various leads provided by the inquest but he assembles and analyses all the available evidence bearing on the tragedy.
This includes several remarkable letters from the Duke of Wellington, as well as a number of revealing passages from the diaries and correspondence of Princess Li even and Mrs. Arbuthnot. During his last days Castlereagh knew he was going out of his mind. What were the causes of his aberration? What lay behind his fears and the threatening letters he was said to have received! What secret factor was there to cause a man of his stature and abilities to commit so despairing an act?
"There is some mystery about this which perhaps time will explain," wrote Baron Neumann, Counsellor at the Austrian Embassy in London when he heard the news of Castlereagh's death.
Mr. Montgomery Hyde, whose previous work on Castlereagh's early life established him as an authority on his subject, here puts forward a most convincing explanation of the mystery.