Gladstone

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, Aug 23, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 720 pages

Winner of the Whitbread Biography of the Year.

William Gladstone was, with Tennyson, Newman, Dickens, Carlyle, and Darwin, one of the stars of nineteenth-century British life. He spent sixty-three of his eighty-nine years in the House of Commons and was prime minister four times, a unique accomplishment. From his critical role in the formation of the Liberal Party to his preoccupation with the cause of Irish Home Rule, he was a commanding politician and statesman nonpareil. But Gladstone the man was much more: a classical scholar, a wide-ranging author, a vociferous participant in all the great theological debates of the day, a voracious reader, and an avid walker who chopped down trees for recreation. He was also a man obsessed with the idea of his own sinfulness, prone to self-flagellation and persistent in the practice of accosting prostitutes on the street and attempting to persuade them of the errors of their ways.

Gladstone, by historian and eminent politician Roy Jenkins, is a full and deep portrait of a complicated man, offering a sweeping picture of a tumultuous century in British history, and is also a brilliant example of the biographer's art.

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About the author (2012)

Roy Jenkins was active in British politics for half a century, entering the House of Commons in 1948 and subsequently serving as Minister of Aviation, Home Secretary, and Chancellor of the Exchequer; he was also the President of the European Commission and Chancellor of Oxford University. In 1987 he took his seat in the House of Lords. In addition to his extraordinary political career he was a highly acclaimed historian and biographer. Among his many works, Gladstone (1995) and Churchill (2001) are regarded as his masterpieces. He died in January 2003.