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Victorian prime ministers and the press

According to Paul Brighton’s Original Spin, the highly moral Gladstone was a far cannier manipulator of the media than the flamboyant Disraeli

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

Original Spin: Downing Street and the Press in Victorian Britain Paul Brighton

Tauris, pp.280, £25, ISBN: 9781780760599

Lord Palmerston is remembered today not for his foreign policy nor for his octogenarian philandering, but for his management of the press. He was the first prime minister to grasp that dealing with journalists was all about pragmatic negotiation and buttering people up. The deal between Palmerston and the newspapers was: ‘I’ll tell you something no one knows if you give me your support and a favourable report.’

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