Paul Adelman’s Gladstone, Disraeli and Later Victorian Politics must be considered one of the ‘classics’ in the series. The book was first published in 1970 and then revised and reissued as Second Edition in 1983. Since its initial publication the book has been used by countless students in conjunction with their nineteenth-century history (and politics) courses. The publication of this, the Third Edition, will thus be greatly welcomed. For the new edition the book has been largely rewritten (and, as a consequence, expanded) to take account of the major publications which have appeared since 1983, and recent historical controversies on the period. The bibliography has also been radically revised and updated to incorporate the new works.
The book concentrates on the development of the two great political parties, Liberal and Conservative, from the rise of the Gladstonian Liberal Party in the 1860s until the period of Conservative domination under Lord Salisbury in the later years of the nineteenth century. It addresses the key questions facing students- for example, how were the parties organised? Who supported the Conservatives and Liberals and why? What was the influence of leadership and policy upon their development and the parties’ electoral record? Dr Adelman also analyses in some detail the impact of the Great Reform Acts of the period on party politics, as well as the importance of the great Victorian pressure groups, such as the Liberation Society and the Primrose League.
Paul Adelman was formerly Reader in History at Kingston University.