Gladstone

Gladstone

Gladstone

Gladstone

Synopsis

Gladstone is one of the most important political figures in modern British history. He held the office of Prime Minister four times during a turbulent and changing time in Britain's history.Michael Partridge provides a new survey of Gladstone's life and career, placing him firmly in the context of nineteenth-century Britain, and covering both his intriguing private life and his public career. Surveying a broad range of source material, Partridge begins by looking at Gladstone's early life, education and entry to Parliament, before looking at his marriage and service with Peel. He goes on to look in detail at Gladstone's terms as prime minister concluding with his fourth ministry, when Gladstone, by now in his eighties, returned to power. He tried and failed to resolve the problems of Ireland, which had become his great obsession, for the last time and eventually retired from politics in 1894 and died a few years later.

Excerpt

This book is by no means the first to be written about William Gladstone. Its intention is to provide readers with a clear text which will serve as a survey of the life and career of one of Britain’s best-remembered political figures, placing him in the context of developments in nineteenth-century Britain.

Many scholars have studied Gladstone. Some of those whose work have been particularly relied on are acknowledged in the Bibliography, but others have also contributed their share and I would like to thank them all. I should also like to express my gratitude to my colleagues and students, past and present, in the History Programme at St Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill, and particularly to Dr Mark Donnelly. They have no doubt heard enough of the Grand Old Man for the time being. The Series editor, Dr Bob Pearce, has been a most valuable and friendly critic and commentator. The supervisor of my doctoral research, the late Professor Kenneth Bourne, has inspired much of my work. Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Karen, who has typed this manuscript, made many helpful suggestions for improvements and amendments and, in short, done as she always does: made the book possible.

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