W. E. Gladstone towers over the politics of the nineteenth century. He is known for his policies of financial rectitude, his campaigns to settle the Irish question and his championship of the rights of small nations. He remains the only British Prime Minister to have served for four separate terms. In 1998 an international conference at Chester College brought together Gladstone scholars to mark the centenary of his death, and many of the papers presented on that occasion are published in this volume. Covering the whole of the statesman’s long political life from the first Reform Act to the last decade of the nineteenth century, they range over topics as diverse as parliamentary reform and free trade, Gladstone’s English Nonconformist supporters and his Irish Unionist opponents. A select bibliography, arranged by subject, supplies guidance for further research. The collection forms a tribute, appreciative but critical, to the Grand Old Man of British politics.
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