Richard Aldous lectures in modern history at University College, Dublin. He has written widely on political history, including his brilliantly reviewed life of Malcolm Sargent, Tunes of Glory.
The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs Disraeliby Richard Aldous
It was the most important duel in Victorian politics. From the mid-19th Century, parliamentary and political life in Britain would be dominated by their head-to-head confrontation. Each would seize the initiative at different times; blows would be
A brilliant account of the dramatic confrontation between the two “mighty opposites” of the Victorian age.
It was the most important duel in Victorian politics. From the mid-19th Century, parliamentary and political life in Britain would be dominated by their head-to-head confrontation. Each would seize the initiative at different times; blows would be traded and points scored. One would seemingly have an unassailable advantage only to see it retrieved by his foe. Even death failed to end the struggle; Disraeli’s political ghost continued to torment Gladstone, not least during the shocking Home Rule debates of 1886.
The Lion and the Unicorn is the story of this great rivalry; the challenge is how to tell it in a compelling way for a 21st Century audience. Part of the problem is that while one man appears to be the epitome of his times, the other is apparently the quintessence of ours. William Gladstone is often used to exemplify every undesirable feature of the Victorian age, most notably hypocrisy, self-righteousness and cant.
In a great feud that electrified the Victorian age, Gladstone and Disraeli set out their political and moral stalls in vivid opposition to each other, where, in addition, their abiding personal loathing personalized their disputes. The conflict between these two political giants would help to establish the modern parliamentary system.
- Random House UK
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.25(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.30(d)
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