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    Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832 (CD-Audio) By (author) Antonia Fraser, Read by Sean Barrett

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    DescriptionInternationally bestselling historian Antonia Fraser's new book brilliantly evokes one year of pre-Victorian political and social history - the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832. For our inconclusive times, there is an attractive resonance with 1832, with its 'rotten boroughs' of Old Sarum and the disappearing village of Dunwich, and its lines of most resistance to reform. This book is character-driven - on the one hand, the reforming heroes are the Whig aristocrats Lord Grey, Lord Althorp and Lord John Russell, and the Irish orator Daniel O'Connell. They included members of the richest and most landed Cabinet in history, yet they were determined to bring liberty, which whittled away their own power, to the country. The all-too-conservative opposition comprised Lord Londonderry, the Duke of Wellington, the intransigent Duchess of Kent and the consort of the Tory King William IV, Queen Adelaide. Finally, there were 'revolutionaries' and reformers, like William Cobbett, the author of RURAL RIDES. This is a book that features one eventful year, much of it violent. There were riots in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham, and wider themes of Irish and 'negro emancipation' underscore the narrative. The time-span of the book is from Wellington's intractable declaration in November 1830 that 'The beginning of reform is the beginning of revolution', to 7th June 1832, the date of the extremely reluctant royal assent by William IV to the Great Reform Bill, under the double threat of the creation of 60 new peers in the House of Lords and the threat of revolution throughout the country. These events led to a total change in the way Britain was governed, a two-year revolution that Antonia Fraser brings to vivid dramatic life. Read by Sean Barrett. Sean Barrett has narrated many television documentaries for the BBC and Discovery Channel, notably THE PEOPLE'S CENTURY, WALKING WITH BEASTS, and GREAT LIVES. As a member of the BBC Radio Rep, he has appeared in hundreds of radio plays, and played Father Gillespie in the BBC Worldservice / BBC7 serial WESTWAY throughout its eight year-run. As a film and television actor he has appeared in pieces as diverse as TWELFTH NIGHT and FATHER TED, and he is a doyen of audiobook reading, with acclaimed recordings of authors ranging from Chaucer to Beckett and in 2012 recorded Antony Beevor's THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Perilous Question

    Perilous Question
    The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Antonia Fraser, Read by Sean Barrett
    Physical properties
    Format: CD-Audio
    Width: 131 mm
    Height: 165 mm
    Thickness: 15 mm
    Weight: 164 g
    ISBN 13: 9781409129813
    ISBN 10: 1409129810

    BIC subject category V2: HBLL, HBTB
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD1
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3JH
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DBK
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.3
    BISAC V2.8: HIS015000, HIS037030
    BIC subject category V2: 3JH, 1DBK
    BISAC V2.8: HIS054000
    DC23: 941.081
    Thema V1.0: NHTB, NHD
    Edition statement
    CD (Abridged)
    Orion Publishing Co
    Imprint name
    Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
    Publication date
    09 May 2013
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the NORTON MEDLICOTT MEDAL by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made DBE in 2011 for her services to literature.
    Review quote
    Antonia Fraser creates gorgeous portraits of the landed aristocrats, who fought for the Great Reform Bill of 1832. It is a remarkable story told by an excellent storyteller. -- David Aaronovitch THE TIMES Fraser's rollicking history... brisk engrossing narrative... as a pure storyteller she has few equals -- Dominic Sandbrook SUNDAY TIMES Antonia Fraser's superb narrative of the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832, one of the most potentially revolutionary moments in British politics, provides incisive pen portraits of all the major protagonists. DAILY TELEGRAPH Fraser brings history to life, focusing on 1832, when Whigs fought Tories to reform the electoral system and extend the restricted franchise. Democracy won, despite reaction's might. THE LADY