Richard MiddletonJul 29, 2022
Soldier and Statesman in a Revolutionary World
Yale University Press 2022
Charles, First Marquis of Cornwallis (1738-1805), was a leading figure in late eighteenth-century Britain. His career spanned the American War of Independence, Irish Union, the French Revolutionary Wars, and the building of the Second British Empire in India--and he has long been associated with the unacceptable face of Britain's colonial past.
In Cornwallis: Soldier and Statesman in a Revolutionary World (Yale UP, 2022), Richard Middleton shows that this portrait is far from accurate. Cornwallis emerges as a reformer who had deep empathy for those under his authority, and was clear about his obligation to govern justly. He sought to protect the population of Bengal with a constitution of written laws, insisted on Catholic emancipation in Ireland, and recognized the limitations of British power after the American war. Middleton reveals how Cornwallis' rewarding of merit, search for economy, and elimination of corruption helped improve the machinery of British government into the nineteenth century.
Richard Middleton is an independent scholar and was formerly associate professor of American history at Queen's University Belfast. He is the author of The Bells of Victory, Colonial America, Pontiac's War, and The War of American Independence.
Charles Coutinho, PH. D., Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.