The index to the thirteen text volumes of The Gladstone Diaries 1825-1896 has three parts. First `Dramatis Personae', a list of the 20,500 people mentioned by Gladstone in his diaries. Secondly `Gladstone's Lifetime Reading', a bibliography of the 20,000 books, pamphlets, and articles, whose reading he records in his diaries, with the dates when he read them. This is a bibliography of remarkable cultural interest. It is probably the most ambitious attempt by a public figure to note his or her reading and it is certainly unique as a printed record of the lifetime's reading of am eminent Briton. Thirdly, a `Subject Index' which is the reader's most direct way into the extraordinary
range of subjects covered in the thirteen text volumes. It is effectively an index to most of British public life from 1830 until 1896. About two hundred of the people who figure most prominently in the diaries are included in the Subject Index (in addition to the `Dramatis Personae') with detailed analytic entries. It also includes a bibliography of Gladstone's own writings as he recorded them in his diaries. This is a culmination of H. C. G. Matthew's acclaimed edition of Gladstone's diaries, correspondence, and other papers. It is an invaluable reference tool and an essential key to a magisterial work of scholarship.
Readership: Scholars and students of modern British and Irish history;
social, cultural, and political historians of nineteenth-century Britain; specialists in Victorian studies; readers interested in biography and diaries.
Edited by H. C. G. Matthew, late Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford
"`an appropriate pediment to a mammoth work of sensitive scholarship, which uniquely illuminates Victorian mentalité and patterns of life, and makes them intelligible in late-twentieth-century terms'
"`Professor Matthew and his dedicated team have produced one of the great editions of the twentieth century, from which all serious consideration of Gladstone must begin.'
Times Literary Supplement"
"`the most important single contribution to our knowledge of British 19th-century political, religious and cultural history has been completed ... He is an editor sans Pareil, and the originality of the achievement is as notable as its scale. His erudite, unwaveringly scrupulous editing has transformed brief, often cryptic diary entries into a huge corpus of ordered information. This whole massive work is a triumph of modern historical scholarship.'
Angus McIntyre, The Times"
"`The publication of the diary, masterminded by Colin Matthew, who has devoted over half an academic career to it, has transformed our view of Gladstone. In successive introductions, Matthew has set out a subtle yet lucid analysis of all aspects of his public and private life, and his extraordinary mental composition. It has left us with a much clearer view of his religious motivation and his intense anxiety to use his allotted time to battle against sinfulness in himself and in others.'
London Review of Books"
"`With the appearance of these three volumes, a publishing project which has been as successful as it was ambitious comes to an end.'
Mark Garnett, The Guardian"
"`These new volumes throw light on many matters. ... These books may not be for the general reader, yet their reward comes from steady reading and not much from mere dipping. The introduction by Matthews is as always engrossing, his touch sure. Gladstone, of charm, intelligence, industry, and compassion, deserves his outstanding editor.'
"Matthew has been the driving intellectual and administrative force behind this vast enterprise ... What Matthew has done, as well as to present the diaries in an attractive, readable form, is to illuminate every action of Gladstone's life. He has by painstaking research followed up every hint, every clue ... It is an extraordinary piece of detective work ... On almost every page there is something to impress the reader with the sheer scholastic tenacity of the editorial team ... One does not take long studying these volumes before realising that one is in the presence of one of the greatest historical publishing achievements of the century. Everyone connected with it has good reason to be proud ... Our view of possibly our greatest statesman is, as a result of his efforts, immeasurably
clearer. He has produced a work worthy of his subject's genius. Scholarship does not get much better than this." - History Today June 1995
"The foundation for this remarkable achievemnet was laid by M. R. D. Foot and built upon, and out from, by H. C. G. Matthew with consistency sustained to this, the triumphant end. The indexes and the Introduction are alike masterpieces." - EHR Book Reviews
"Matthew's two volumes are very rich...They have to be read with attention and the editor's shrewd interpretation of it, usefully laced with a sharp dry wit." - New Statesman and Society
"a monumental achievement, for which congratulations are in order to the editorial body led by Lord Blake and to the staff of the Clarendon Press as well as to Professor Matthew's devoted assiduity ... There are many felicities and excellences in Professor Matthew's reading of Gladstone ... what remains truly invaluable in the diaries are the very occasional flashes of illumination in which Gladstone reveals the deepest inwardness of himself." - Richard Shannon, University of Wales, Swansea, Parliamentary History, Vol. 15, pt.2 (1996)