This important new single-volume study of W. E. Gladstone offers a readily accessible account of one of the most important and consequential political careers in modern British and Irish history. It is a story of how a statesman of almost superhuman energy and forcefulness of character strove to realise God's purposes, as he saw them, in the twisting and slippery paths of public service. Striving to realise God's purposes is the theme at the centre of this reading of Gladstone's life and career. For too long his intense religious faith has been exiled to the margins of the story, denied crucial explanatory power. Richard Shannon puts this right.