Published Jan 2010
Lines of Most Resistance concerns the furious and bitter politics of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, but in its description of fights over Ireland and the House of Lords, it could hardly be more topical. Pearce has undertaken original research in the press and political record of a hundred years ago. He catches the enraged mood of Conservatives at the thought of granting to Ireland then what has just now been conceded to Scotland.
Pearce has unearthed the extravagance and paranoia of right-wing politics before the First World War. And as the whirligig of time brings in Devolution and the Lords’ powers again, he concludes that what died with the Edwardian era was not Liberalism, but the savage, unstable Toryism which saw revolution in reform, and in Ulster played godfather to armed revolt.