A significant and influential study of how the Victorian system of popular political democracy actually worked. It examines the precise nature in town and country, and in a variety of situations. It deals with the impact, and in what proportions of `influence', the purse, and the exercise of the individual political conscience. This work clarifies much, alongside the legislative framework of the system, and analyses the underlying conceptions of politics which guided actions. It also offers a substantive account of economy and society in the North-East - the first area of industrialisation - as the context for political analysis and description.
The author was Professor of Government at the London School of Economics, 1989-94, then Professor and Chairman of the Graduate School, University of Leeds.