The English ideology is parliamentary. In this study, which first appeared in 1973, George Watson shows how literary evidence, much of it fictional, can illuminate the life of a great institution like the British parliament.
The book contains chapters on political oratory and the parliamentary novel – that uniquely Victorian form – which Disraeli created and in which Trollope excelled. It is the first comprehensive attempt to use literary evidence to expose the politics of a whole age.
It expounds nineteenth century controversies over democracy, class, race, morality and empire – a study of political language in the era when modern politics was born.