This reassessment of the role of the aristocratic Whigs in the Liberal Party of the 1870s and 1880s studies the largely neglected Whig leadership of Granville and Hartington (1875-80), the leadership crisis of 1879-80, and the strategies of both front and back bench Whigs following Gladstone's return to power in 1880. Traditionally the Whigs have been dismissed as a recalcitrant and increasingly marginal element in an age characterized by `Gladstonian' Liberalism.
Dr Jenkin's aim is to restore `Whiggery' to a position of significance in Liberal politics and, in the process, to re-examine Gladstone's leadership and the role played by Radicals such as Joseph Chamberlain in the years leading up to the Home Rule crisis of 1886. In asserting the central
importance of the Irish Question to the split in the Liberal Party, the book rejects previous interpretations of the schism as merely the result of class divisions, or the result of cynical manoeuvring for personal advantage by ambitious politicians. The book is based on the author's thesis, which has been awarded the University of Cambridge's Prince Consort Prize for 1988.
`splendid new book ... His tone throughout is one of iconoclastic reasonableness. He eschews the hermetically obscure prose which the 'high politics' school has made so peculiarly its own. At the same time his essentially 'commonsense' view hides a sophisticated and delicate turn of mind.'
The Times Literary Supplement
`Dr Jenkins is to be praised for both his energy and erudition.'
English Historical Review
`This book should be essential reading for all teachers of the late nineteenth century and acts as a valuable counter to those who see the success of Gladstone's brand of Liberalism as inevitable.'
John Grey, Teaching History
'This is a well-told story of political astuteness by the Whig faction ... cogently and vigorously argued by Jenkins, with the aid of an impressive array of primary sources. The study contains much of Irish specialist interest.'
Cormac O Grada, Irish University Review
'His is certainly a careful narrative and analytical account of parliamentary and cabinet politics, occasionally and rigorously challenging the acccepted truths. Jenkins has put us in his debt by his insights into late Victorian Liberalism and by correcting the scholarly imbalance which has favoured Gladstone and radicalism to the detriment of whiggery.'
Alvin Jackson, University College, Dublin, Irish Historical Studies
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 11th February 1988
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97
Weight (kg): 0.58