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Gladstone : a biography /
Roy Jenkins.
1st U.S. ed.
New York : Random House, 1997.
xxvii, 698 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
0679451447 :
More Details
New York : Random House, 1997.
0679451447 :
general note
Originally published: London : Macmillan, 1995. With forenote to the American ed.
catalogue key
Gift to Victoria University Library. Fox, Paul. 2005/10/05.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Costa Book Awards, GBR, 1995 : Won
New York Times Notable Books of the Year, USA, 1997 : Won
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1996-12-09:
Lord Jenkins (Asquith) has held cabinet office and is chancellor of Oxford. His Gladstone has already earned the Whitbread Award in England. Yet for American readers, his biography will often be impenetrable. W.E. Gladstone (1809-1898) was prime minister four times. The extravagances of his quintessentially Victorian genius, which included religiosity, morbidity, hypocrisy, earnestness, priggishness and oratorical excesses that make Fidel Castro seem a paragon of reticence, kept him in politics for 63 years. Jenkins's idiosyncratic account of his life lingers over parliamentary minutiae, hardly mentions the Crimean War and ignores the Indian Mutiny. Jenkins wanders off into flippancies and Anglicisms that will exasperate a transatlantic audience. We learn of "tramlines logic," of a government that was a "holed hull," of statesmen who "went of a fever." Given to pompous language when simple words would do, he refers to "eleemosynary" (charitable) motives and "fissiparous issues" (divisive would have done nicely) and compares an elongated Gladstone peroration to the close of Mahler's Sixth Symphony. Still, there are redeeming descriptive and narrative gems, as in Gladstone's famed speechifying (in which subordinate clauses "hung like candelabra"), and in the energy of the old man, who at 81, knocked down by a cab, "pursued the errant driver and held him until the police came." No prime minister was more sophistical or sanctimonious, and none dominated Parliament more ruthlessly. Jenkins's biography, while sweepingly admiring, deals with his hero blemishes and all. (Feb.)
Appeared in Library Journal on 1997-01:
William E. Gladstone lived to be 89, spanning the 19th century almost as much as his queen, Victoria. As prime minister of Britain four times, he was involved in all the major political travails of the time, including the Crimean War, Irish Home Rule, and the expansion of British imperialism. He was energetic, a prodigious reader, a classicist who also read popular Victorian fiction, and a devoutly religious man who tortured himself with guilt over his taste for pornography. This work was first published in 1995 in England, where it was a best seller and an award-winning biography. Lord Jenkins (Life at the Center, LJ 3/1/93), a leader in the House of Lords and chancellor of Oxford University, has done a fine job of compiling a one-volume biography of a man he obviously admires. For libraries without H.C.G. Matthews's two-volume Gladstone (Oxford Univ., 1995), Jenkins's work will make a nice substitute.Ă‚â€˜Katherine E. Gillen, Luke AFB Lib., Goodyear, Ariz.
Appeared in Choice on 1997-09:
The first major work on Gladstone in more than 40 years, Jenkins's work is a comprehensive biography of Britain's four-time Victorian Prime Minister. With remarkably lucid insights, Jenkins explicates Gladstone's early life, family, marriage, religious ideas, and political rise from protege of Robert Peel. A gifted orator, would-be reformer of fallen women, elder statesman, and conscience of the Liberal Party and Victorian England, Gladstone was Queen Victoria's least favorite prime minister. He was at the center of the great political, social, and imperial questions of his era: the major clashes between the Liberal and Conservative Party and its leader Disraeli over Parliamentary Reform, Church and Crown relations, and foreign policy and colonial issues. The latter included the Crimean and Opium Wars, Bulgarian atrocities, takeover of Egypt, fall of Khartoum, and Irish Home Rule, which Gladstone felt was a moral imperative and over which he split his party. Jenkins convincingly describes Gladstone as "in many ways the greatest figure of the nineteenth century." A fascinating, definitive biography that delights and enlightens the reader about the man and his times. All levels. G. M. Stearns; Elizabethtown Community College
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, December 1996
Publishers Weekly, December 1996
Library Journal, January 1997
Booklist, February 1997
Choice, September 1997
New York Times Book Review, February 2003
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