Perilous Question: the Drama of the Great Reform Bill of 1832

Author(s) : FRASER Antonia
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© Weidenfeld and Nicholson

This is a book that features one eventful year, much of it violent. There were riots in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham, and wider themes of Irish and 'negro emancipation' underscore the narrative. The time-span of the book is from Wellington's intractable declaration in November 1830 that 'The beginning of reform is the beginning of revolution', to 7th June 1832, the date of the extremely reluctant royal assent by William IV to the Great Reform Bill, under the double threat of the creation of 60 new peers in the House of Lords and the threat of revolution throughout the country. These events led to a total change in the way Britain was governed, a two-year revolution that Antonia Fraser brings to life.
For two reviews of this book, see Andrew Roberts from one side of the political spectrum – here (external link) -, and John Barrell from the other – here (external link).

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Weidenfeld and Nicholson
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