The Grand Old Man: William Gladstone and the Making of Liberal England


Art History


Residential course

Jonathan Rodell

26 July 2022 to 28 July 2022

From £240 Non-residential fee

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We are meant to become more conservative as we get older but Gladstone’s political career started as a High Tory opposed to the abolition of slavery and ended as a radical reformer committed to democracy and social reform.

Chancellor of the Exchequer in four governments and Prime Minister of four more, he dominated the political life of Britain in the second half of the nineteenth century, steering the country through unparalleled change and challenges.  Queen Victoria loathed him but perhaps the age in which they lived would better be described as Gladstonian Britain than Victorian Britain.  Why isn’t it?

The course will look at the career of the 19th century British statesman William Ewart Gladstone.  We will be studying the political challenges that Britain faced in a period of unprecedented social and economic change and the role which Gladstone played in navigating the country through them.  We will explore Gladstone’s contribution to the development of mass political parties in British politics and his long term legacy in the British political system.  We will also, no doubt, find time to talk about his hobby of saving fallen women.

Residential Fees From: £358.   Non Residential: £240

Course runs from Dinner on Tuesday to Lunch on Thursday.

Tutor information

Dr Jonathan Rodell studied History at Pembroke College, Cambridge before going on to complete a PhD on popular religion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  He was a Visiting Fellow at Southern Methodist University, Dallas and is a tutor at Madingley Hall, the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education.  His published works include The Rise of Methodism: a study of Bedfordshire 1736-1851 and he is currently working on a volume about religion in Victorian London tentatively titled City of God.

Your questions answered

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All course participants will be sent further guidance prior to the course date.

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