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The Real Gladstone an Anecdotal Biography   By: (1820-1898)

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First Page:

THE REAL GLADSTONE.

An Anecdotal Biography.

BY J. EWING RITCHIE (CHRISTOPHER CRAYON),

AUTHOR OF ‘CITIES OF THE DAWN,’ ‘CRYING FOR THE LIGHT,’ ETC.

LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN, PATERNOSTER SQUARE.

NEW YORK: G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS. 1898.

PREFACE.

In this little work I have aimed to write, not a history or a biography, not a criticism or a eulogy, but merely to give a few scattered notes, gathered from many quarters, for the general public, rather than for the professional politician. Lord Rosebery is reported to have said that it will require many writers to give a complete biography of Mr. Gladstone. He may be right; but the evil of it will be, the work, if exhaustive, will be exhausting. Especially will it be so in these busy times, when yesterday’s biographies become stale to a public forgetful of the past, caring only for the present, oblivious of the morrow. It is almost an impertinence to speak of the many claims Mr. Gladstone has on a people whom he has served so long. All I claim to do is to give a few data which may help them to estimate the

‘Heroic mind Expressed in action, in endurance proved’—

in short, more or less imperfectly, ‘The Real Gladstone.’

Clacton, May , 1898.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. BIRTH AND SCHOOLDAYS 1 II. GLADSTONE AT OXFORD 9 III. ENTERS PARLIAMENT 16 IV. M.P. FOR OXFORD UNIVERSITY 38 V. MR. GLADSTONE’S ECCLESIASTICAL OPINIONS 47 VI. MR. GLADSTONE AND THE DIVORCE BILL 67 VII. POLITICS AGAIN 75 VIII. POLITICS AND THE IRISH CHURCH 92 IX. EDUCATION AND IRELAND 116 X. IRELAND UNDER MR. FORSTER 126 XI. HOME RULE 140 XII. MR. GLADSTONE’S SPEECHES 154 XIII. MR. GLADSTONE’S PUBLICATIONS 170 XIV. ANECDOTAL AND CHARACTERISTIC 191 XV. MR. GLADSTONE’S LETTERS 213 XVI. MR. GLADSTONE AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES 235 XVII. AT HOME 273

CHAPTER I. BIRTH AND SCHOOLDAYS.

Many, many years ago England’s foremost statesman, as George Canning then was, distrusted by the multitude, feared by his colleagues, regarded with suspicion by the First Gentleman of the Age—as it was the fashion to term George the Magnificent, who was then seated on the British throne—wearied of the strife and turmoil of party, spent a short time at Seaforth House, bidding what he deemed his farewell to his Liverpool correspondents. His custom, we are told, was to sit for hours gazing on the wide expanse of waters before him. His had been a marvellous career. Born out of the circle of the ruling classes, by his indomitable energy, the greatness of his intellectual gifts, his brilliant eloquence, he had lifted himself up above his contemporaries, and had become their leader; and here he was about to quit the scene of his triumphs—to reign as Viceroy in a far off land. Canning, however, did not retire from the Parliamentary arena, but stopped at home to be Premier of Great Britain and Ireland, and to let all Europe know that this country had done with the Holy Alliance; that a new and better spirit was walking the earth; that the dark night of bigotry was past, and that the dawn of a better day had come... Continue reading book >>




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