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The Lion and the Unicorn William Gladstone And Benjamin Disraeli Were The Fiercest Political Rivals Of The Nineteenth Century Their Intense Mutual Hatred Was Both Ideologically Driven And Deeply Personal Their Vitriolic Duels, Carried Out Over Decades, Lend Profound Insight Into The Social And Political Currents That Dominated Victorian England To Disraeli A Legendary Dandy Descended From Sephardic Jews His Antagonist Was An Unprincipled Maniac Characterized By An Extraordinary Mixture Of Envy, Vindictiveness, Hypocrisy, And Superstition For The Conservative Aristocrat Gladstone, His Rival Was The Grand Corrupter, Whose Destruction He Plotted Day And Night, Week By Week, Month By Month In The Tradition Of Roy Jenkins And A N Wilson, Richard Aldous Has Written An Outstanding Political Biography, Giving Us The First Dual Portrait Of This Intense And Momentous Rivalry Aldous S Vivid Narrative Style By Turns Powerful, Witty, And Stirring Brings New Life To The Gladstone And Disraeli Story And Confirms A Perennial Truth In Politics, Everything Is Personal

About the Author: Richard Aldous

Richard Aldous, the author of The Lion and the Unicorn, is Eugene Meyer Professor of British History and Literature at Bard College He has been a fellow at the Royal Historical Society, a trustee of the Gladstone Library, and advisor to the British Council, and commentator for the Irish Times and the BBC.

10 thoughts on “The Lion and the Unicorn

  1. says:

    This is not a history of 19th century British politics It does not pretend to be so In fact, it states from the first that its mission is to recast the story of Gladstone and Disraeli for a 21st century audience, in a way that will appeal to us Aldous assessment of a 21st century audie

  2. says:

    Fascinating and well written.

  3. says:

    Sad but true my interest in Disraeli can be traced to a Family Guy episode Peter s blathering on, as he does, and compares someone to Benjamin Disraeli Cut to Disraeli in his study, who looks at the camera and sadly tells the viewer, you don t even know who I am Thus, my curiosity in the infamous Brit

  4. says:

    This book is a missed opportunity William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli were two of the oddest characters to traipse across the 19th century Their political feud reached almost apocalyptic proportions, and came to define the nature of Great Britain when that country was at the pinnacle of global power It s

  5. says:

    A very enjoyable and informative review of two great titans of British political history Both men are given a fair hearing, though it is apparent that the author favours Disraeli over Gladstone which is fine by me as that chimes with my own opinions The book emphasises the struggle between them rather than simply giv

  6. says:

    The Lion and the Unicorn by Richard Aldous is an engaging and insightful account of the decades long struggle between Gladstone and Disraeli to forge political majorities in Parliament and to lead and fashion Britain according to Liberal or Conservative principles It was, by any measure, a battle of heavyweights Two men of o

  7. says:

    Gladstone and Disraeli were two greatest British statesmen of the second half of the nineteenth century, and they hated each other It is almost impossible to write the biography of one without including the other, since they were like two sides of the same coin The book is very well written, I would only complain of the excessive us

  8. says:

    Detailed and well written, but unequal and lacking contextAldous focuses on the personal nature of the rivalry, which helps to avoid dryness The quality of the writing is high and consistent throughout, so that it is very easy to read.He slightly undermines his thesis by seeming to accept that Disraeli was better and Gladstone succeeded onl

  9. says:

    A good survey By concentrating on the relationship between these two titans of British politics, we get a good history of about 1835 1885 thrown in I admit I found myself a bit behind in the sections relating to Ireland, which probably comes of having been taught history in England in the 1990s There was literally no Irish history on the syllabus a

  10. says:

    Though fun and engaging, the book is sensationalist and focuses on Disraeli and Gladstone s personalities, eccentricities and relationships, and barely scratches the surface of their policies and the substance of their ideological differences.

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