chapter  1
16 Pages

Gladstone: A Political Not a Cultural Radical

A group of Victorian friends, the Cambridge Apostles, provided another possible model for William Gladstone's friendships. The Apostles shared with Gladstone and his circle, a classical education that taught them the public values of intellectual discipline, exercise in abstract and analytical thought and a point of view from which to make sense of their experiences. An enthusiast for the minuti of parliamentary politics, Gaskell shared his knowledge with Gladstone, who used it to good effect in later years. Doyle remained a Low-Church Tory and Tupper, a semi-Evangelical Tory, while Gladstone moved towards Anglo-Catholicism and liberalism. Doyle believed that Gladstone's entire political course had proven to be a declension from his early Christ Church ideals, which had culminated in the prime minister's responsibility for both the killing of his son and the attempted killings of the union between Britain and Ireland and of the British Empire.