Mary Gladstone: A Gentle Rebel

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Wiley, May 7, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
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An intriguing account of a woman at the heart of world politics, half a century before women had the vote

The world was at a point of transition between the Victorian age and the modern world of the twentieth century. The Ottoman Empire was in decline, the European states were jostling for power in Africa, industrialization and the coming of the railway age had transformed society and the working man and woman were starting to fight for their right to education, suffrage and a better way of life.

Mary Gladstone was daughter and private secretary to William Gladstone, the eminent Liberal Prime Minister of the later Victorian age. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s she was at the heart of British politics, campaigning for her father, dealing with official correspondence and controlling access to the Prime Minister as well as disseminating and controlling information from the PM both to the press and to his ministers.

This biography of Mary focuses on the period during which she was working with her father up to his death in 1898. It covers a crucial period in British history including Gladstone's attempts to give home rule to Ireland, brinkmanship in the Balkans, the height of the Empire and domestic reform such as universal male suffrage and elementary education for all.

Sheila Gooddie is now a full time writer and author of two previous books.
* An insight into the workings of politics in the final years of the Victorian era and at the height of the days of Empire
* Adds a different perspective on William Gladstone, a giant of the Victorian age
* Based on private letters as well as official documentation

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Introduction Setting the scene
Prime time 1879
Glynnes Gladstones and Lytteltons 1833 49

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About the author (2003)

Sheila Gooddie is a writer and former teacher. She returned to study for an honours degree in English Language and Literature at Manchester University in the late 1970s; discovered a delight in research and became fascinated with the art and craft of biography. Her previous books include The Summers of Shotton, co-written with the late Brian Redhead, and Annie Horniman: A Pioneer in the Theatre. She stumbled upon Mary Gladstone by chance. Her curiosity deepened over years of research on this daughter, who alone amongst her four brothers and two sisters, became 'all-sufficing' to her father in his second term of office as Prime Minister in the 1880s, when Britain's influence extended into all corners of the world.

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