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The British Way

H.C.G. Matthew: Devolution, 5 March 1998

... This, if I understand it, is one of those golden moments of our history; one of those opportunities which may come and may go, but which rarely return, or, if they return, return at long intervals, and under circumstances which no man can forecast.’ Thus Gladstone, unsuccessfully commending to the Commons the first Home Rule Bill, for Ireland, in 1886, a Bill which set the terms of discussion about major constitutional change in the United Kingdom and established categories which remain remarkably unchanged today, as we face up to Scottish and Welsh devolution ...

Crawling towards God

Jonathan Parry, 10 November 1994

The Gladstone Diaries, with Cabinet Minutes and Prime-Ministerial Correspondence. Vol. XII: 1887-1891 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew.
Oxford, 535 pp., £65, September 1994, 0 19 820463 9
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The Gladstone Diaries, with Cabinet Minutes and Prime-Ministerial Correspondence. Vol. XIII: 1892-1896 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew.
Oxford, 486 pp., £65, September 1994, 0 19 820464 7
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The Gladstone Diaries, with Cabinet Minutes and Prime-Ministerial Correspondence. Vol. XIV: Index 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew.
Oxford, 862 pp., £65, September 1994, 0 19 820465 5
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... volumes which Gladstone records having read. The publication of the diary, masterminded by Colin Matthew, who has devoted over half an academic career to it, has transformed our view of Gladstone. In successive introductions, Matthew has set out a subtle yet lucid analysis of all aspects of his public and private life, and ...

God’s Endurance

Peter Clarke, 30 November 1995

Gladstone 
by Roy Jenkins.
Macmillan, 698 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 333 60216 1
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... acknowledges the assistance of others, notably the editor of the Gladstone diaries, H.C.G. Matthew, Jenkins has extended himself formidably over seven hundred pages, displaying a sure grasp of a mass of baffling detail. He is the first biographer to draw on all 13 fat volumes of the published edition of the diaries: an incomparable source which he ...

More ‘out’ than ‘on’

Glen Newey: Chris Mullin’s Diaries, 27 August 2009

A View from the Foothills: The Diaries of Chris Mullin 
by Chris Mullin.
Profile, 590 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 1 84668 223 0
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... abound for diary editing which is informative but not heavy-handed, as in the edition by H.C.G. Matthew of Gladstone, or by Ion Trewin of Alan Clark. The diaries have been crunched down to 200,000 words from a holograph four times that length, though a certain amount of pooterism and triviality remains. We learn that Mullin usually eats beans on toast in ...

Prime Ministers’ Pets

Robert Blake, 10 January 1983

Benjamin Disraeli Letters: Vol. I 1815-1834, Vol. II 1835-1837 
edited by J.A.W. Gunn, John Matthews, Donald Schurman and M.G. Wiebe.
Toronto, 482 pp., £37.50, June 1982, 0 8020 5523 0
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The Gladstone Diaries: with Cabinet Minutes and Prime Ministerial Correspondence, Vol. VII, January 1869-June 1871, Vol. VIII, July 1871-December 1874 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew.
Oxford, 641 pp., £35, September 1982, 0 19 822638 1
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Disraeli 
by Sarah Bradford.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £14.95, October 1982, 0 297 78153 7
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Gladstone: Vol. I 1809-1865 
by Richard Shannon.
Hamish Hamilton, 580 pp., £18, November 1982, 0 241 10780 6
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H.H. Asquith: Letters to Venetia Stanley 
edited by Michael Brock and Eleanor Brock.
Oxford, 676 pp., £19.50, November 1982, 0 19 212200 2
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... anything. That is equally true of Gladstone. The seventh and eighth volume of Dr Colin Matthew’s learned and authoritative edition of the Diaries of that extraordinary figure reveal a very strange relationship between the Prime Minister and a high-class ex-courtesan called Mrs Thistlethwaite, who had become a convert to ...

Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... and the project was fortunate to find the ideal man for the job in the Oxford historian Colin Matthew, who had demonstrated his capacity for the task in his monumental edition of the Gladstone diaries. Matthew became the founding editor of the ODNB in 1992, and much of the credit for both the conception and the early ...

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