Through the years the scholarship on Gladstone has fallen into several categories. This introductory chapter reviews that literature to provide a context for the papers in this volume. First, there was the material published by those who wished to keep the statesman's memory green. Pride of place must go to the three–volume biography composed by Gladstone's former cabinet colleague, John Morley. The culmination of the tradition of works celebrating Gladstone's legacy came with Gladstone and the Irish Nation (1938), by J. L. Hammond, a special correspondent of the Manchester Guardian. Much recent study has focused on understanding Gladstone's position on major questions rather than taking issue with it. Others have looked at the chief influences on his career.
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