"Hall (Univ. College, London), McClelland (Middlesex), and Rendall (York) break the mold of traditional political history...by analyzing the Reform Act in the light of new political history...this book is a pioneering study that broadens our view of Victorian politics. Graduate students and scholars will find the book invaluable." Choice
"This as a careful, detailed, and convincing book that stands up surprisingly well as a discrete entity" Albion
"...this is a text admirably suited to undergraduates and junior postgraduates...[it] provides extremely lucid accounts of a range of significant movements and episodes...The volume is relatively generously, if conventionally, illustrated with line drawings from the Illustrated London News and cartoons from Punch. H-Net
Defining the Nation offers a fresh perspective on one of the most significant pieces of legislation in nineteenth-century Britain. Hall, McClelland and Rendall demonstrate that the Second Reform Act was marked by controversy about the extension of the vote, new concepts of masculinity and the masculine voter, the beginnings of the women's suffrage movement, and a parallel debate about the meanings and forms of national belonging. Fascinating illustrations illuminate the argument, and a detailed chronology, biographical notes and selected bibliography offer further support to the student reader.