The Life of Henry Labouchere

The Life of Henry Labouchere

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The Life of Henry Labouchere

The Life of Henry Labouchere

Read FREE!

Excerpt

It would be unfair both to the reader and to the subject of this memoir to let this book go forth without a word of introduction. The lot of Henry Labouchere, who was born in the reign of William IV. and lived to see George V. on the throne, was cast during a period of European development as important, perhaps, as any that modern history records. For certainly the most significant, if not the most salient, fact in the history of modern Europe is that democratisation of England which, in spite of many set-backs and obstacles, has at length been, in principle at all events, definitely achieved. To-day we are all democrats, Tories and Radicals alike. In that process, the full significance of which has still to unfold itself, Mr. Labouchere played a striking and original part. It was not always a successful one, but it was always played honestly, daringly, and, above all, characteristically. Although a convinced, and in spite of himself, if one may say so, even an enthusiastic Radical, no politician was ever less of a party man. His loyalty was given to principles, not men, and some of his bitterest attacks both in Parliament and in the press were reserved for Radical Ministries that, according to his lights, were untrue to their profession. He was also, what is not so common in politics, a thoroughly disinterested man. He sought neither office nor honour. Circumstances placed him beyond the need of money, and just as no personal feelings could ever blind him to political shortcomings in his leaders, so the strongest and most vehemently expressed disapproval of his opponents . . .

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