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The Quarrel of Macaulay and CrokerPolitics and History in the Age of Reform$
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William Thomas

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208648.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Quarrel of Macaulay and Croker

William Thomas

Oxford University Press

This book tells the story of a quarrel, which began in the House of Commons during the debates on the great Reform Bill, and was carried over into the reviews and the newspapers in the 1830s and 1840s. The clash in the Commons left an abiding mutual dislike and a rivalry which long outlasted the political argument. Both men were skilled writers of invective, but while Macaulay sought a wider fame as a narrative historian, Croker remained fascinated by the political arena and in so far as he could separate politics from history proper, he concentrated on leaving accurate records of the past. This study explains why Croker and Macaulay disagreed, and argues that hasty commentators have misread each man's real motives and substituted others which they could not possibly have professed. Macaulay is a historian every reader can enjoy, but Croker is a historian the professional must respect.

Keywords:   Reform Bill, Commons, rivalry, historian, Croker, Macaulay

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