MAY 29 [1877]. Went to London Library (12 St. James's Square). A meeting of members was being held up-stairs . . . I stood by the door while Gladstone was speaking near the fire place. Gladstone, a dusky-complexioned spare middle-sized man, with grey hair, thin and straggling; eyes very black and rather bright; earnest expression; with a sort of approach to a slouch in his manner and bearing. He spoke fluently but not at all rapidly; sentences rather winding and long drawn out like honey you must twist the spoon to break off. When he had spoken, an old benevolent looking aquiline-nosed stooping man (the Archbishop of Dublin) made a few remarks, in the course of which, Gladstone quietly took his hat and sloped out stealing close by me to the door. — Alfred Domett, Diary, 227

Gladstone: Four times British Prime Minister, grand old man of the liberal party, scholar, financier, theologian, orator, humanitarian, and thorn in the side of Benjamin Disraeli, who, when asked to define the difference between a misfortune and a calamity, replied, "If Mr. Gladstone were to fall into the Thames, it would be a misfortune. But if someone dragged him out, it ould be a calamity." — Anne Fadiman, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, 140

Recommended Reading

Feuchtwanger, EJ. Gladstone. London, 1989.

Magnus, P. Gladstone: a biography. London, John Murray, 1954.

Matthew, HCG. Gladstone 1809-1898. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1996.


Victorian Overview Victorian History Prime Ministers of England

Last modified 4 December 2010