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.
'An excellent, thoughtful, well researched and wholly unpretentious account of Gladstone's archetypal Victorian life, with all its energy, achievements and tension, and its dedication to the noble concepts and consolations of progress, the family and religious faith - though laced with bouts of self-delusion and touched by scandal. Whether you think of Gladstone as the `Grand Old Man' or the `Grand Old Hypocrite' this lucid, down to earth and intelligent biography will give you the broader and better informed view.' - Denis Judd, London Metropolitan University