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Gladstone: 1809-1898 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0198206965
ISBN-10: 0198206968
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Editorial Reviews


"Rarely can a single scholar have re-mapped a whole historical territory so grandly as H. C. G. Matthew has done in the case of Gladstone in particular and of Victorian politics and culture in general."--English Historical Review

About the Author

H. C. G. Matthew is Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford. He is the editor of the 14-volume collection of The Gladstone Diaries, and of the New Dictionary of National Biography.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 744 pages
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press; 1 edition (November 27, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198206968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198206965
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 1.6 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,302,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
William Ewart Gladstone stands as a giant of Victorian liberalism. First elected to the House of Commons in 1832, he went on to become the dominant Liberal politician of the era, ultimately serving as prime minister four times before retiring in 1894. Such a remarkable life poses a considerable challenge for the biographer, and there are few better equipped for the task than Matthew. His decades-long work as editor of Gladstone's extensively detailed diaries immersed him in the minutiae of the man's life. The insight Matthew gained from this work was reflected in the introductions to the published volumes of the series, which were later collected into this book.

The result is not a biography in the traditional sense. Matthew does not bother to cover Gladstone's life from event to event. Instead, he provides an intellectual portrait of the man, charting the development of his ideas and how they were applied throughout his public career. The result is a challenging work, one which assumes that the reader has a familiarity with the events of the era (for those who don't have one, I recommend supplementing Matthew's book with a historical survey of the period, such as Norman McCord's British History, 1815-1906 or the relevant volumes in the Oxford History of England series). Yet in the end it is an enormously rewarding read, one that offers invaluable insights which historians will use for generations to come in shaping their understanding of the man and the era.
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