Gladstone, William Ewart, 1809–98, British statesman, the dominant personality of the Liberal party from 1868 until 1894. A great orator and a master of finance, he was deeply religious and brought a highly moralistic tone to politics. To many he represented the best qualities of Victorian England, but he was also passionately disliked, most notably by his sovereign, Queen Victoria, and by his chief political rival, Benjamin Disraeli.
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