Robert Rhodes James profiles the man rivalled only by Gladstone as the most able politician and Parliamentarian of his time.
The unexpected fall of Gladstone's government in June 1885 was a cause of acute embarrassment to the parliamentary Opposition, whose victory caught them unprepared.
Joseph Chamberlain entered public life as a self-made man and a Republican Radical: he left it as the leader and idol of Protectionist Toryism. Such are the transformations of the English political scene, writes Robert Rhodes James.
For more than a decade, writes Robert Rhodes James, until personal disaster overwhelmed him in 1890, Parnell and the Irish Nationalists held the balance in the House of Commons, and by a policy of considered obstruction swayed the course of British politics.
“He resigned.” Sir Winston Churchill has written of his father, “at the wrong time, on the wrong issue, and he made no attempt to rally support.” By Robert Rhodes James.
To the victors in the Ministerial Crisis of 1886 went twenty years of power, writes Robert Rhodes James, while to the loser there only remained a poignant struggle against denigration and disease.
Robert Rhodes James analyses the controversy over Parliamentary procedure that helped to precipitate the General Election in which Gladstone went down to defeat.