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Lord Cromer

By Peter Mellini | Published in 2004 
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Peter Mellini looks at a work on the influential diplomat and imperialist.

Lord Cromer: Victorian Imperialist, Edwardian Proconsul
Roger Owen
Oxford University Press  436pp  £25
ISBN 0-19-925338-2

When the first Earl Cromer (Sir Evelyn Baring, 1841-1917) died, The Times heralded him as ‘the maker of Modern Egypt.’ In 1998 some young Egyptian students told the local archivist at the Norfolk town of Cromer, ‘We want to spit on his grave’. Roger Owen deftly illuminates why Cromer amply deserves the Establishment’s acclaim and these Egyptians’ contempt. Known as ‘Overbaring’ after his short imperious service in India, he served in Egypt in 1879-80 as the representative for the European debt holders, then as Her Majesty’s Agent and Consul General -– its de facto ruler between 1883-1907.

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