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Norman Gash and the Making of Mr Secretary Peel

Gaunt, Richard A.

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In May 1961, the firm of Longmans published the first volume of Norman Gash's monumental life of Sir Robert Peel. Mr Secretary Peel: The Life of Sir Robert Peel before 1830 was hailed at the time as a landmark and has proved surprisingly durable as an interpretation of Peel's early life and formation. This essay is concerned with locating Gash's work within its political, biographical, and historiographical context. It begins by considering the reaction of Peel family members to Gash's biography, before tracing the antecedents of his historical preoccupations and intellectual development in the years leading up to the publication of Mr Secretary Peel. It presents a wide range of new evidence relating to Gash's life and emergence as a political and parliamentary historian, drawing upon sources which have come to light in the decade since his death in May 2009.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 30, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 3, 2021
Publication Date Feb 3, 2021
Deposit Date Apr 16, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 4, 2023
Journal Parliamentary History
Print ISSN 0264-2824
Electronic ISSN 1750-0206
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 1
Pages 148-167
Keywords Conservative Party; George Kitson Clark; J.L. Hammond; Norman Gash; Oxford University; Reading School; Sir John Neale; Sir Lewis Namier; Sir Robert Peel
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Gaunt, R. A. (2021). Norman Gash and the Making of Mr Secretary Peel. Parliamentary History, 40(1), 148–167.

"This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Norman Gash and the Making of Mr Secretary Peel, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions."


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