This is a study of Charles, Earl Grey. It provides a critical account of Grey stressing the traditionalism of his outlook, and his retention of an aristocratic set of values throughout his long political career. Earl Grey is famous as the author of the Great Reform Bill, the achievement which crowned his premiership. The author shows how this followed years of political frustration and disappointment, and that the Reform Bill can only be understood when it is placed in its historical and political context. John Derry describes the reaction in England to the French Revolution and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, and the Irish crisis, and their effect on Grey as a politician. He also focuses on such important influences in Grey's life as his commitment to civil and religious liberties, his devotion to Fox, his disdain for Pitt and detestation of Canning, and his loyalty to Grenville. This biography of one of the most influential parliamentary reformers of the 19th century reveals the impact of personality on the political events of the period. It also sheds light on the nature and practice of politics between the end of the War of American Independence and the accession of Queen Victoria.
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