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William Ewart Gladstone

By Bryce, James

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Book Id: WPLBN0000624823
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 68.65 KB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: William Ewart Gladstone  
Author: Bryce, James
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Blackmask Online Collection
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Publisher: Blackmask Online


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Bryce, J. (n.d.). William Ewart Gladstone. Retrieved from

Excerpt: Chapter 1. Introduction. No man has lived in our times of whom it is so hard to speak in a concise and summary fashion as Mr. Gladstone. For forty years he was so closely associated with the public affairs of his country that the record of his parliamentary life comes near to being an outline of English politics. His activity spread itself out over many fields. He was the author of several learned and thoughtful books, and of a multitude of articles upon all sorts of subjects. He showed himself as eagerly interested in matters of classical scholarship and Christian doctrine and ecclesiastical history as in questions of national finance and foreign policy. No account of him could be complete without reviewing his actions and estimating the results of his work in all these directions. But the difficulty of describing and judging him goes deeper. His was a singularly complex nature, a character hard to unravel. His individuality was extremely strong; all that he said or did bore its impress. Yet it was an individuality so far from being self?consistent as sometimes to seem a bundle of opposite qualities capriciously united in a single person. He might with equal truth be called, and he has been in fact called, a conservative and a revolutionary. He was dangerously impulsive, and had frequently to suffer from his impulsiveness; yet he was also not merely wary and cautious, but so astute as to have been accused of craft and dissimulation. So great was his respect for authority and tradition that he clung to views regarding the unity of Homer and the historical claims of Christian sacerdotalism which the majority of competent specialists have now rejected. So bold was he in practical matters that he transformed the British constitution, changed the course of English policy in the Orient, destroyed an established church in one part of the United Kingdom, and committed himself to the destruction of two established churches in two other parts. He came near to being a Roman Catholic in his religious opinions, yet was for twenty years the darling leader of the English Protestant Nonconformists and the Scotch Presbyterians. No one who knew him intimately doubted his conscientious sincerity and earnestness, yet four fifths of the English upper classes were in his later years wont to regard him as a self?interested schemer who would sacrifice his country to his lust for power.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents: William Ewart Gladstone, 1 -- James Bryce, 1 -- Chapter I: Introduction, 1 -- Chapter II: EARLY INFLUENCES, 2 -- Chapter III: PARLIAMENTARIAN, 4 -- Chapter IV: ORATOR, 8 -- Chapter V: ORIGINALITY AND INDEPENDENCE, 11 -- Chapter VI: SOCIAL QUALITIES, 15 -- Chapter VII: AUTHORSHIP, 16 -- Chapter VIII: RELIGIOUS CHARACTER, 18


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