Gladstone, Disraeli, and Queen Victoria: the Centenary Romanes lecture delivered before the University of Oxford on 10 November 1992
Lord Blake delivered the Romanes Centenary Lecture before the University of Oxford on 10 November 1992. The first Romanes Lecture was given by Gladstone on 24 October 1892. On this centenary occasion it seems appropriate to say something about one of Oxford's greatest alumni and about twoother eminent Victorians with whom he had so many dealings - Benjamin Disraeli and the Queen herself. He was unhappy with the Queen and hated Disraeli, who reciprocated the feeling. She came to adore Disraeli and detest Gladstone, who was nevertheless a strong monarchist. The lecture analyses thisfascinating triple relationship and shows that party politics were as much involved as personality. It also discusses the role of the Victorian monarchy, some of whose problems, especially in finance and public relations, are of topical interest today. The conclusion is that the survival of themonarchy after its unpopularity in the early 1870s owed as much to Gladstone's loyalty and discretion as it did to Disraeli's flattery and cajolery.
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