Account

Company

  Menu
Large Image

Perilous Question: Reform or Revolution? Britain on the Brink, 1832

by (PublicAffairs)

(24 reviews)

Get It Preview
$2.99 $11.99 Save 75%

Share This

Description

Antonia Fraser's Perilous Question is a dazzling re-creation of the tempestuous two-year period in Britain's history leading up to the passing of the Great Reform Bill in 1832, a narrative which at times reads like a political thriller.

The era, beginning with the accession of William IV, is evoked in the novels of Trollope and Thackeray, and described by the young Charles Dickens as a cub reporter. It is lit with notable characters. The reforming heroes are the Whig aristocrats led by Lord Grey, members of the richest and most landed cabinet in history yet determined to bring liberty, which would whittle away their own power, to the country. The all-too-conservative opposition was headed by the Duke of Wellington, supported by the intransigent Queen Adelaide, with hereditary memories of the French Revolution. Finally, there were revolutionaries, like William Cobbett, the author of Rural Rides, the radical tailor Francis Place, and Thomas Attwood of Birmingham, the charismatic orator. The contest often grew violent. There were urban riots put down by soldiers and agricultural riots led by the mythical Captain Swing.

The underlying grievance was the fate of the many disfranchised people. They were ignored by a medieval system of electoral representation that gave, for example, no votes to those who lived in the new industrial cities of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, and Birmingham, while allocating two parliamentary representatives to a village long since fallen into the sea and, most notoriously, Old Sarum, a green mound in a field. Lord John Russell, a Whig minister, said long afterwards that it was the only period when he genuinely felt popular revolution threatened the country. The Duke of Wellington declared intractably in November 1830 that "The beginning of reform is the beginning of revolution." So it seemed that disaster must fall on the British Parliament, or the monarchy, or both.

The question was: Could a rotten system reform itself in time? On June 7, 1832, the date of the extremely reluctant royal assent by William IV to the Great Reform Bill, it did. These events led to a total change in the way Britain was governed, and set the stage for its growth as the world's most successful industrial power; admired, among other things, for its traditions of good governance -- a two-year revolution that Antonia Fraser brings to vivid dramatic life.

Tag This Book

This Book Has Been Tagged
It hasn't. Be the first to tag this book!

Our Recommendation

Get It This book is at its lowest price since we started tracking it.

Notify Me When The Price...

  • $
  • If I'm already tracking this book...

to track this book on eReaderIQ.

Track These Authors

to track Antonia Fraser on eReaderIQ.

  • to be notified each time the price drops on any book by Antonia Fraser.
  • to stop tracking Antonia Fraser.

Price Summary

  • We started tracking this book on April 23, 2013.
  • This book was $16.49 when we started tracking it.
  • The price of this book has changed 20 times in the past 2,423 days.
  • The current price of this book is $2.99 last checked 15 hours ago.
  • The lowest price to date was $2.99 last reached on August 26, 2019.
  • This book has been $2.99 3 times since we started tracking it.
  • The highest price to date was $16.49 last reached on April 23, 2013.
  • This book has been $16.49 one time since we started tracking it.
  • This book is currently at its lowest price since we started tracking it.

Genres

Additional Info

  • Publication Date: May 7, 2013
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 354 Pages
  • File Size: 9,019 KB

We last verified the price of this book about 15 hours ago. At that time, the price was $2.99. This price is subject to change. The price displayed on the Amazon.com website at the time of purchase is the price you will pay for this book. Please confirm the price before making any purchases.