Sir Robert Ensor's volume in the "History of England" has long been recognized as a classic. It covers a period of rapid and far-reaching change, ...Show synopsisSir Robert Ensor's volume in the "History of England" has long been recognized as a classic. It covers a period of rapid and far-reaching change, from Gladstone's first ministry, through the great contest with Disraeli, the Home Rule debate, the establishment of the Labour movement, the Boer War, and the Liberal reforms of 1909-10, to the end of an era abruptly marked by the catastrophe of 1914. Ensor's account devotes considerable space to social and economic developments as well as domestic and foreign politics.Hide synopsis
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How did he cram all that in? Plenty of detail, making a virtue of the inevitable concentration to comment acidly on events and pass well-aimed verdicts on the behaviour of individuals. The series characteristic of potted biographies, in footnotes to the main text, help the reader to orient him/herself immediately, whatever the context. Appendices unravel some of the knottier sets of problems. This is a book to refer to chapter-by-chapter as the need arises, or read from beginning to end on successive evenings. After dipping into someone else's copy, I just had to have one of my own.
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