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.
William Gladstone New Studies and Perspectives