A History of the Four Georges and of William IV (Complete)

Library of Alexandria
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Publisher
Library of Alexandria
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Published on
Dec 31, 1905
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Pages
1317
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ISBN
9781465541673
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Language
English
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From one of the greatest political journalists of recent times, an insider’s account of four decades of covering the British political scene, packed with tales of the biggest political happenings of the last half century.

Philip Webster covered politics for The Times newspaper for 43 years, including 18 years as its political editor. He has been at the centre of all the big stories of the past four decades – the fall of Labour in 1979, the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher, the emergence and fall of John Major, the rise and fall of Tony Blair and his wars with Gordon Brown, the aftermath of 9/11, the war in Iraq, the fall of Brown, the rise and rise of David Cameron, and the shock election of Jeremy Corbyn.

Beautifully illustrated with Peter Brookes’ cartoons, Webster offers fresh insight into the great stories of his time. He gives a frank and revelatory insider’s account of great political events since Michael Heseltine brandished the Mace, the night the Callaghan government fell, the day Sir Geoffrey Howe brought down Margaret Thatcher, the day Tony Blair said farewell, the night MPs voted for war in Iraq; and every Budget and autumn statement for 40 years.

With the wit and geniality that has made him so many friends in politics, he reveals how stories came into his hands and how political journalism influences events as they unfolded. He has witnessed what he terms a golden age of political journalism and this book offers an intimate account of his trade. The essential handbook for anyone interested by the craft of journalism, ‘Inside Story’ reviews three decades of lead stories and the many politicians, great and small, that he has encountered.

Lord George Bentinck is an account of Disraeli's relation with his parliamentary colleague and friend. It is not simply an account of the battle over the Corn Laws with Sir Robert Peel, but a most remarkable book, extremely readable, and full of often quoted and apt comments and descriptions. As a vivid story of one of the great parliamentary dramas in British history it is unsurpassed. The portraits of both Bentinck and Peel are both sympathetic and just. The book provides insight into mid-nineteenth century parliamentary life that remains unsurpassed.

It is hard to overstate the bitterness and fury which Peel's decision to repeal the Corn Laws had provoked in British politics. One biographer of Disraeli, Robert Blake, spoke of "Home Rule in 1886 and Munich in 1938 as the nearest parallels". Friendships were sundered, families divided, and the feuds of politics carried into private life to a degree quite unusual in British history. Those who are interested in the details of parliamentary warfare which raged until Peel's fall from power should consult Lord George Bentinck.

But the worth of this book goes beyond constitutional history or even the Irish food famine. Disraeli helps explain the intellectual and ideological grounds of the Young England Movement: a conservative force that aimed at a union of discontented industrial workers with aristocratic landowners and against factious Whigs, selfish factory owners and dissenting shopkeepers. In forging such a policy of principle, the Conservatives, as Disraeli's book well demonstrates, became a minority party but one which carried the full weight of moral politics.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Bestselling historian Alison Weir tells the poignant, suspenseful and sometimes tragic story of Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Yorkist King Edward IV and sister of the Princes in the Tower, a woman whose life was inextricably caught up in the turmoil of the Wars of the Roses and the establishment of the usurping Tudor dynasty. She was the wife of Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII. 

Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother and Elizabeth’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline.
 
Her birth was greeted with as much pomp and ceremony as that of a male heir. The first child of King Edward IV, Elizabeth enjoyed all the glittering trappings of royalty. But after the death of her father; the disappearance and probable murder of her brothers—the Princes in the Tower; and the usurpation of the throne by her calculating uncle Richard III, Elizabeth found her world turned upside-down: She and her siblings were declared bastards.
 
As Richard’s wife, Anne Neville, was dying, there were murmurs that the king sought to marry his niece Elizabeth, knowing that most people believed her to be England’s rightful queen. Weir addresses Elizabeth’s possible role in this and her covert support for Henry Tudor, the exiled pretender who defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and was crowned Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth’s subsequent marriage to Henry united the houses of York and Lancaster and signaled the end of the Wars of the Roses. For centuries historians have asserted that, as queen, she was kept under Henry’s firm grasp, but Weir shows that Elizabeth proved to be a model consort—pious and generous—who enjoyed the confidence of her husband, exerted a tangible and beneficial influence, and was revered by her son, the future King Henry VIII.
 
Drawing from a rich trove of historical records, Weir gives a long overdue and much-deserved look at this unforgettable princess whose line descends to today’s British monarch—a woman who overcame tragedy and danger to become one of England’s most beloved consorts.

Praise for Elizabeth of York
 
“Weir tells Elizabeth’s story well. . . . She is a meticulous scholar. . . . Most important, Weir sincerely admires her subject, doing honor to an almost forgotten queen.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“In [Alison] Weir’s skillful hands, Elizabeth of York returns to us, full-bodied and three-dimensional. This is a must-read for Tudor fans!”—Historical Novels Review
 
“This bracing biography reveals a woman of integrity, who . . . helped [her husband] lay strong groundwork for the success of the new Tudor dynasty. As always in a Weir book, the tenor of the times is drawn with great color and authenticity.”—Booklist
 
“Weir once again demonstrates that she is an outstanding portrayer of the Tudor era, giving us a fully realized biography of a remarkable woman.”—Huntington News
Entrusted by His Majesty the King with the duty of making a selection from Queen Victoria's correspondence, we think it well to describe briefly the nature of the documents which we have been privileged to examine, as well as to indicate the principles which have guided us throughout. It has been a task of no ordinary difficulty. Her Majesty Queen Victoria dealt with her papers, from the first, in a most methodical manner; she formed the habit in early days of preserving her private letters, and after her accession to the Throne all her official papers were similarly treated, and bound in volumes. The Prince Consort instituted an elaborate system of classification, annotating and even indexing many of the documents with his own hand. The result is that the collected papers form what is probably the most extraordinary series of State documents in the world. The papers which deal with the Queen's life up to the year 1861 have been bound in chronological order, and comprise between five and six hundred volumes. They consist, in great part, of letters from Ministers detailing the proceedings of Parliament, and of various political memoranda dealing with home, foreign, and colonial policy; among these are a few drafts of Her Majesty's replies. There are volumes concerned with the affairs of almost every European country; with the history of India, the British Army, the Civil List, the Royal Estates, and all the complicated machinery of the Monarchy and the Constitution. There are letters from monarchs and royal personages, and there is further a whole series of volumes dealing with matters in which the Prince Consort took a special interest. Some of them are arranged chronologically, some by subjects. Among the most interesting volumes are those containing the letters written by Her Majesty to her uncle Leopold, King of the Belgians, and his replies.1 The collection of letters from and to Lord Melbourne forms another hardly less interesting series. In many places Queen Victoria caused extracts, copied from her own private Diaries, dealing with important political events or describing momentous interviews, to be inserted in the volumes, with the evident intention of illustrating and completing the record.
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