The Endless Adventure: Personalities and Practical Politics in Eighteenth-Century England

The Endless Adventure: Personalities and Practical Politics in Eighteenth-Century England

The Endless Adventure: Personalities and Practical Politics in Eighteenth-Century England

The Endless Adventure: Personalities and Practical Politics in Eighteenth-Century England

Excerpt

This is a book about politics. Its subject is the endless adventure of governing men. Its object is to show how politicians of various sorts contrived to carry on governments, and to thwart, discredit and destroy governments, during the reign of George the First and a portion of the reign of George the Second.

The first volume (1710-1727) ends with the death of George the First. The second volume (1727-1735) is concerned mainly with the first Parliament of George the Second, and with the General Election that followed on its dissolution. The third volume (1735-1745) will be a commentary on the second Parliament of George the Second, and on the decline and fall of Sir Robert Walpole's great administration. The final volume is still some way from completion.

This book does not pretend to be a history. History is a much loftier and more spacious affair; it does not pay overmuch attention to the idiosyncrasies of the various actors, but aims at showing all the vital movements of a certain epoch in their true relations to one another and at reducing many diverse things to unity; whereas in this book no attempt has been made to do more than follow a single thread of human activity. I have not concerned myself, except from necessity, with battles, sieges and campaigns, with social and industrial progress, or with the evolution of religion, art, science and literature. My much humbler theme is the skill and blunderings, the courage and faint-heartedness, the energy and languor, the . . .

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