The outline of Palmerston's extraordinary career is well-
But not explored until now are the powerful intellect, perception and subtle diplomacy
that lay behind Palmerston's high-
James Chambers pays particular attention to the politician's early years, showing
how his 'scandalous' private life and his long, frustrating apprenticeship at the
War Office played their parts in turning the diffident 'Lord Cupid' into the notoriously
Even at the end of his career, Palmerston retained the nonchalance that had epitomised the bucks and dandies of his Regency youth. His levity irritated the redoubtable Queen Victoria, but a more astute observer, Florence Nightingale, saw through it. 'He was,' she said, 'so much more in earnest than he appeared.'