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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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... when the rise of mass-market publishing coincided with the eclipse of the aristocratic Parliamentary culture: in the 1880s and 1890s. Enterprising firms of American publishers then twice approached Gladstone, suggesting that he should write an autobiography. He responded half-heartedly, drafting a set of autobiographical memoranda, which were eventually published in 1971. It is clear from his drafts that ...

Invader

Linda Colley

9 July 1987
Richard Cobden: A Victorian Outsider 
by Wendy Hinde.
Yale, 379 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 300 03880 1
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Richard Cobden: Independent Radical 
by Nicholas Edsall.
Harvard, 479 pp., £23.95, February 1987, 0 674 76879 5
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... and frequently unpopular opposition to war: ‘seldom has hero rested, stained by so superb a fault.’ A special train was laid on from London to take the great and the good to his funeral; WilliamGladstone helped to carry his coffin; statues were raised by public subscription; and the London and provincial presses enshrined his memory in laudatory poems and improving books for the young. But it was not ...

The Man Who Never Glared

John Pemble: Disraeli

5 December 2013
Disraeli: or, The Two Lives 
by Douglas Hurd and Edward Young.
Orion, 320 pp., £20, July 2013, 978 0 297 86097 6
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The Great Rivalry: Gladstone​ and Disraeli 
by Dick Leonard.
I.B. Tauris, 226 pp., £22.50, June 2013, 978 1 84885 925 8
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Disraeli: The Romance of Politics 
by Robert O’Kell.
Toronto, 595 pp., £66.99, February 2013, 978 1 4426 4459 5
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... for the Turkish sultanate, Britain’s broker for imperial trophies (Cyprus, a trunkful of Suez Canal shares) and the transformer of English queens into empresses of India. Peel, reincarnated as WilliamGladstone, denounces him from beyond the grave. Gladstone sweeps to victory, Byron is toppled and Peel is avenged. Byron dies, leaving posterity perplexed. Had he been a writer who happened to become ...

Diary

Paul Foot: The Buttocks Problem

5 September 1996
... its subject-matter. I therefore make full use of mine, as a pupil at Shrewsbury School in the Fifties. In his Foreword to a new biography of Anthony Chenevix-Trench,* one-time headmaster of Eton, Sir WilliamGladstone writes that Trench’s ‘interest was in drawing out the best from boys as individuals’. Another interest, not mentioned by Sir William, lay in drawing down the underpants of boys – as ...
26 November 1987
... I myself have seen the wild roses grow upon the very ground which is now the centre of the borough of Bootle. William Ewart Gladstone This road I trogged to school down, eleven-plus, in fluorescing socks and Yankee tie; the solid end of town, Victorian sandstone, tall windows, doors-up-steps, attics for cramping servants in. I ...
24 February 1994
The Rise and Fall of Liberal Government in Victorian Britain 
by Jonathan Parry.
Yale, 383 pp., £30, January 1994, 0 300 05779 2
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... This impressive study of Victorian politics is built around a challenging thesis: that Gladstone, far from being the creator of the Liberal Party, was in fact a maverick who stumbled into the leadership of an already flourishing Liberal Party and, through his zealotry, restless ambition and ...
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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GladstoneVol. 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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... In reviewing the Gladstone Diaries and the Disraeli Letters I must declare an interest. I am chairman of the committee which superintends the publication of the former and one of the research consultants involved in the latter ...
4 May 1989
The Blackwell Dictionary of Historians 
edited by John Cannon, R.H.C. Davis, William​ Doyle and Jack Greene.
Blackwell, 480 pp., £39.95, September 1988, 9780631147084
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Edward Gibbon, Luminous Historian, 1772-1794 
by Patricia Craddock.
Johns Hopkins, 432 pp., £19, February 1989, 0 8018 3720 0
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Gibbon: Making History 
by Roy Porter.
Palgrave, 187 pp., £14.95, February 1989, 0 312 02728 1
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Macaulay 
by Owen Dudley Edwards.
Trafalgar Square, 160 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 9780297794684
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Acton 
by Hugh Tulloch.
Trafalgar Square, 144 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 297 79470 1
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... grandest and most exotic of them all. His mother married a peer, and he married into one of the leading families of the Holy Roman Empire, before becoming an Irish MP, a baron, and the confidant of WilliamGladstone. Possessing social credentials of this kind helped to make these men the historians they were. They did not only write about power: they also directly experienced it. They not only visited ...

Masses and Classes

Ferdinand Mount: Gladstone

17 February 2005
The Mind of GladstoneReligion, Homer and Politics 
by David Bebbington.
Oxford, 331 pp., £55, March 2004, 0 19 926765 0
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... What is Gladstone trying to tell us? Through the matted undergrowth of his prose, with its vatic pronouncements, its interminable subordinate clauses, its ponderous hesitations and protestations, its sudden whimsical ...

Diary

Peter Clarke: Labour’s Return

28 June 1990
... is the message. It did not take those sharp-suited men stalking the Labour Party headquarters in Walworth Road to discover the name of a game which was already familiar to Daniel O’Connell and William Ewart Gladstone, even if the apparatchiks’ own discovery of the name of the rose had to await the advent of the cordless telephone. They now speak of having provided suitable ‘packaging’ for a ...
30 November 1995
Gladstone 
by Roy Jenkins.
Macmillan, 698 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 333 60216 1
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... a post-Stracheyan view of the Victorian era, marvelling at how different its assumptions were from those of the 20th century. But there is no snide debunking in Roy Jenkins’s biography. The Gladstone who emerges – temperamentally commanding, conversationally charming, intellectually erudite, theologically obsessed, morally priggish, sexually tormented, socially hierarchical, politically ...

Turning Turk

Robert Blake

20 August 1981
The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain. Vol. 1: The 19th Century 
by Stephen Koss.
Hamish Hamilton, 455 pp., £20, May 1981, 0 241 10561 7
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... 1909. These financial restrictions dated back to 1712. In the early 18th century journalism was vituperative, venomous and virulent, as well as being frequently obscene and licentious. The reigns of William III and Queen Anne were marked by intense political partisanship, and the language used in attacks on government and parliament provoked retaliation. The Stamp Duty Act of that year caused Swift to ...

Mr Gladstone’s Funeral

Tom Crewe: A Story

20 December 2018
... William Ewart Gladstone​ , four times prime minister of Great Britain and Ireland, died of a cancer of the palate on the 19th of May 1898. Ascension Day. It was fitting, Bill’s father said, for a Christian gentleman. It ...

Truffles for Potatoes

Ferdinand Mount: Little Rosebery

22 September 2005
Rosebery: Statesman in Turmoil 
by Leo McKinstry.
Murray, 626 pp., £25, May 2005, 0 7195 5879 4
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... The schoolmaster William Johnson is remembered for three things, although not under that name. He wrote the most famous of all translations from Greek lyric verse, ‘They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead ...

The Politics of Good Intentions

David Runciman: Blair’s Masochism

8 May 2003
... interests,’ he continued, ‘it is something, in so striking and significant a manner, for a great nation to have vindicated the higher principles of humanity.’ The Leader of the Opposition, WilliamGladstone, seconding Disraeli’s vote of thanks to the troops who had pulled off this masterly campaign, could only acquiesce. Unfortunately, however, Disraeli meant by the purity of his purpose ...

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