KING LEOPOLD'S GHOSTWRITER, the creation of persons and states in the nineteenth century

: Fitzmaurice (A.)

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572pp., illus., hardback, d.w., Princeton, 2021


Winner of the István Hont Book Prize, Institute of Intellectual History.

Biography of Victorian jurist and Oxford professor Travers Twiss, who became the intellectual driving force behind King Leopold of Belgium’s efforts to have the Congo recognised as a new state under his personal authority.

“A heroic feat of archival reconstruction and intellectual rehabilitation, King Leopold’s Ghostwriter recovers Travers Twiss from obscurity and makes the case for his importance to global intellectual history. The story of his double life, precipitous fall from grace, and return to prominence is gripping. This is a model of intellectual biography." David Armitage, Harvard University

“There are few better ways imaginable to study the emergence of modern sovereign statehood and international law than through the lens of the life, works, and thoughts of Travers Twiss. Fitzmaurice’s brilliant biography achieves the tour de force of imbedding international legal history in the histories of Victorian liberalism, European diplomacy, and imperialism all at once, while producing a very readable and accessible book.” Randall Lesaffer, Tilburg University

Andrew Fitzmaurice is Professor of the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of Sovereignty, Property, and Empire and Humanism and America.