William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98) was the outstanding statesman of the Victorian age. He was an MP for over sixty years, a long serving and exceptional Chancellor of the Exchequer and four times Prime Minister. As the leader of the Liberal party over three decades, he personified the values and policies of later Victorian Liberalism. Gladstone, however, was always more than just a politician. He was also a considerable scholar, a dedicated Churchman and had a range of interests and connections that made him, in many respects, the quintessential Victorian. Yet important aspects of Gladstone's life have received relatively little recent attention from historians. This study reappraises Gladstone by focusing on five themes: his reputation; his representation in visual and material culture; his personal life; his role as an official; and the ethical and political basis of his international policies. This collection of original, often multidisciplinary studies, provides new perspectives on Gladstone's public and private life. As such, it illustrates the many-sided nature of his career and the complexities of his personality.
'… splendidly edited … None of the fourteen essays is less than first rate, showing both scholarly learning and searching for novel ways to explore (sometimes) well-trod territory.' Journal of Modern History '… these fourteen essays prove that there is much still to be discovered about Gladstone and much that is pertient to current debates, particularly those concerned with international affairs.' Journal of Liberal History 'With whatever background knowledge one might come to this book, whether versed in things Gladstonian or a novice, there are things here to inform, enrich and challenge.' Australian Journal of Politics and History '… amusing asides occur within the context of essays analysing Gladstone’s ’just war’ doctrine, as well as his attitudes towards chattel slavery, Irish finance, labour, the Ionian islands and international diplomacy. Three major issues emerge from this empirical mass; namely, the late Frank Turner’s distinction between Gladstone’s political radicalism and his cultural conservatism, Deryck Schreuder’s suggestive rendering of Gladstonian liberalism as method, and the problem of Burke.' English Historical Review 'This substantial volume of fourteen scholarly essays is testament to the continuing attention paid by historians to the life and career of William Gladstone.' Political Studies Review
Contents: Foreword, David Bebbington; Introduction, Ruth Clayton Windscheffel; Part I Reputations: Gladstone; a political not a cultural radical, Frank M. Turner; Gladstone and Peel's mantle, Richard A. Gaunt; Gladstone and labour, Chris Wrigley. Part II Images: Gladstone's visage: problem and performance, Joseph S. Meisel; Material Gladstones, Mark Nixon. Part III Personal Questions: Gladstone as friend, Denis Paz; Gladstone as woodsman, Peter Sewter; The health of a Prime Minister: Gladstone 1868-85, Jenny West. Part IV Gladstone as an Official: Gladstone, finance and the problems of Ireland, 1853-66, Allen Warren; Gladstone and the Ionian Islands, C. Brad Faught. Part V Ethics and Internationalism: Gladstone and war, Roland Quinault; Gladstone and the suppression of the slave trade, Richard Huzzey; Gladstone's 'greater world': free trade, empire and liberal internationalism, Deryck M. Schreuder. Part VI Epilogue: Gladstone's legacy, Eugenio Biagini; A selected bibliography, Roger Swift; Index.