Over fifty years have passed since I wrote my first tutorial essay in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE), or Modern Greats, as it was known in Oxford. The subject was the Great Reform Bill of 1832, which for the first time in over a century expanded the right to vote and redrew the electoral map of Great Britain. I had planned to read history, but when I told my history don that I was interested in the nineteenth century – Gladstone, Disraeli, and all that – he shook his head sadly. ‘Ah, my dear boy, that’s current affairs; history at Oxford ends in 1815; you’ll have to read PPE.’ Thus was my fate sealed and the Reform Bill the first subject in my Politics curriculum.
Neal Blewett reviews 'Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832' by Antonia Fraser
Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832
by Antonia Fraser
Hachette Australia, $45 hb, 350 pp, 9780297864301
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Neal Blewett has had a varied career as academic, politician, and diplomat. A Tasmanian Rhodes scholar, he taught successively at the Universities of Oxford and Adelaide and became Professor of Political Theory and Institutions at Flinders University. He has written books and articles on British and Australian history and politics. As Health Minister in the Hawke government he was responsible for the introduction of Medicare and Australia’s Aids policy. His diary of the Keating government was published in 1999. From 1994 to 1998 he was Australian High Commissioner in London as well as a member of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization. He now writes, gardens, and walks in the Blue Mountains.
By this contributor
- Neal Blewett reviews 'Thoughtlines: Reflections of a public man' by Bob Carr
- Neal Blewett reviews 'A Thinking Reed' by Barry Jones
- Neal Blewett reviews 'Losing It: The inside story of the Labor party in opposition' by Annabel Crabb, 'Loner: Inside a Labor tragedy' by Bernard Lagan, and 'The Latham Diaries' by Mark Latham
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.