This book provides a series of case studies illuminating the role and character of the House of Lords over two centuries, from 1714 to 1914. The figures treated in the essays are Edmund Gibson (Bishop of Lincoln and later London), the first Earl Cowper, the Sixth Earl of Denbigh, Lord Thurlow, the second Earl Grey, the Duke of Wellington, the Duke of Bedforda nd Earls Spencer and Fitzwilliam, Lord Derby, and Lord Selborne and Bonar Law. These figures are all selected for the ways in which their careers shed light in one way or another on key moments and key issues in British political history, with particular reference to the evolution of the House of Lords. Overall, the nine studies show that the role of the House of Lords was much more complicated and much less reactionary than conventional wisdom has allowed.
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