Scottish aristocrats John Campbell Gordon (1847–1934) and Ishbel Marjoribanks Gordon (1857–1939), known as the Aberdeens, rejected both revolution and reaction in their political careers. The aristocratic progressivism and egalitarian marriage of these fervent liberals confounded both contemporaries and historians. John, as viceroy of Ireland and governor-general of Canada, was a notable ally of feminists, workers, and Irish Home Rulers. Ishbel, his viceregal companion and the long-time president of the International Council of Women, was a liberal feminist and Home Ruler whose commitments stirred up even more controversy.
Superbly written and informed by decades of research, Liberal Hearts and Coronets is the first biography to treat John Campbell Gordon as seriously as his better-known wife. Examining the Aberdeens’ remarkable careers as landlords, philanthropists, and international progressives, Veronica Strong-Boag casts the twilight of the British aristocracy in an entirely new light.