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Regency England: The Age of Lord Liverpool (Lancaster Pamphlets) Paperback – 3 Jul 1996
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This work covers the period prior to the Great Reform Act of 1832. It offers a summary of the issues and the current scholarship and addresses the causes of public disorder in the early part of the century, the distinction between repressive and liberal administration and Liverpool's capabilities as Prime Minister.
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“John Plowright's contribution to Routledge's series of Lancaster pamphlets for sixth-form and junior undergraduate students provides a concise and sympathetic reassessment of Lord Liverpool and his government. He convincingly presents Liverpool as a skilful politician who negotiated substantial difficulties and constraints with considerable success. Plowright further argues that there was no great discontinuity between the 1812-21 and 1821-7 phases of the premiership. Men and circumstances were what changed, rather than government policies, and it is misleading to suggest that the period can be divided easily into years of harsh government repression followed by years of `liberal' Toryism. The book contains a chronological table and a useful analysis of the literature both in the course of the text and in a formal selective bibliographical note; and it is written so clearly that it is an excellent model for students - except in one respect. My only criticism is that it provides no references for its apt and often pithy quotations, which is a pity when its guide to the historiography is otherwise one of its strengths.”