on 28 July 2006
This is an excellent book written by Edward Pearce. This is an entertaining and informative book about an event perhaps not well known to all, but an event that was so important it should be taught in every school and ingrained into our memory. The great reform act of 1832 was an event that started the process towards true political reform - namely the representation of eveyone and not just the aristocracy.
Coleridge said that parliament should be a 'representation of ideas and not just a delegation of men'- underlying the contemporary relevance and importance of the 1832 reform act and consequently this book.
This book is great because it vividly recounts the struggle to get this bill to royal ascent, the rich and powerful didn't want it, the people who were desperate to get the vote started riots in their frustration at the setbacks this bill endured.
The book is entertaining as it uses dialogue straight from Hansard reports from the house of commons and shows how brilliant speeches, long debates and the occasional drunken diatribe helped make this a fascinating era in parliamentary and social history.
Well written, with detailed research. My favourite chapter was the last but also chapter 7 (the Lords: the outcome).
Read it! You will be surprised.