Resolution: Two Brothers, a Nation in Crisis
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Based upon the detailed archives held at Belvoir Castle, and drawing on a wealth of primary research, Resolution charts the lives and fortunes of two eighteenth-century aristocratic brothers – Charles and Robert Manners, orphaned sons of the celebrated Marquis of Granby and grandsons of the 3rd Duke of Rutland – against a backdrop of the American War of Independence.
Charles’s life follows the preordained course of the older son waiting to inherit the dukedom, but after Cambridge University he risks being considered treasonable and aligns himself with the Whig aristocrats who oppose the war with America. His younger brother Robert enlists in the Royal Navy and takes part in all the major sea battles of the war. The young lord, seemingly pushy and arrogant at first, becomes a respected leader – courageous, honourably ambitious, but always mindful of the welfare of his men. Both brothers, in the cause of the efforts they make for their country and in the shadow of their famous father, suffer unfortunate early deaths.
Resolution offers the readers the dual pleasure of an atmospherically evoked account of life aboard ship in the eighteenth-century navy, alongside a convincing portrayal of the machinations of British politics at a time of war and national crisis. But it also offers an intimate portrait of the joys, griefs, feuds and pressures of a Georgian aristocratic family wrestling with the importance of reputation; the need to preserve the dynasty; the challenge of competing expectations; and the critical role of patronage. And, last but not least, an extraordinary cast of characters drawn from the great and the good of the era – Fox, Chatham, Burke, Sandwich, Pitt the Younger and Wilkes to name but a few – provides a colourful panorama of the world of Georgian high politics.
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