Black's History Week


The Ruling Passion

Ep. 1

Welcome to the first episode of Black’s History Week: the latest podcast series from us here at The Critic.

The former prime ministers, John Major, Tony Blair and Theresa May have all criticised Boris Johnson's handling of the Internal Market Bill and the Withdrawal Agreement. But how common is it for ex-prime ministers to continue to play a prominent part in British politics after they have left Downing Street? And do American presidents mostly find it easier to resist the urge to influence political debate after their White House tenure expires?

In this podcast, Professor Jeremy Black, biographer of Robert Walpole and Pitt the Elder, talks to The Critic's editor, Graham Stewart, about the ruling passion and which of the pastmasters have successfully influenced politics after their time in office elapsed.


Image: William Pitt the Elder, (Image from Studio of William Hoare, held at the National Portrait Gallery, image obtained via Wikipedia)

Music: Radetzky March by Human Symphony Orchestra (

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