Muckraker The Scandalous Life and Times of W. T. Stead: Britain's First Investigative Journalist (Hardback)

By W. Sydney Robinson


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Book details

  • Publisher: The Robson Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Publication date: 12th May 2012
  • ISBN10: 1849542945
  • ISBN13: 978-1849542944
  • Publisher size: Royal
  • Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 cm
  • Pages: 304

£20.00

Winner of the Paddy Power and Total Politics Political Book Awards’ Political Biography of the Year 2013

A major work by a brilliant young biographer, Muckraker details the tenacity and verve of one of Victorian Britain’s most compelling characters. Credited with pioneering investigative reporting, W. T. Stead made a career of ‘muckraking’: revealing horrific practices in the hope of shocking authorities into reform. As the editor of the Northern Echo, he won the admiration of the Liberal statesman William Gladstone for his fierce denunciation of the Conservative government; at the helm of London’s most influential evening paper, the Pall Mall Gazette, he launched the career-defining Maiden Tribute campaign. To expose the scandal of child prostitution, Stead abducted thirteen-year-old Eliza Armstrong (thought by many to be the inspiration behind Eliza Doolittle, from friend George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion), thrusting him into a life of notoriety.

Labelled a madman in later life for dabbling in the occult, W. T. Stead conducted his life with an invincible zeal right up until his tragic demise aboard the Titanic. Revealing a man full of curious eccentricities, W. Sydney Robinson charts the remarkable rise and fall of a true Fleet Street legend in this enthralling biography.


Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times

“'Closely researched and briskly written, it does an excellent job of explaining one of the most extraordinary individuals in journalistic history”

Full review
Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

“[a] timely, well-written biography of the brilliant, flawed Victorian journalist ”

Full review
Lord Lexden, The House Magazine

“Every politician and journalist should slip a copy of this slim, brilliantly written volume by a new young author into their holiday luggage this summer.”

Full review
Tobias Grey, The Wall Street Journal

“a timely study of Britain's first investigative journalist”

Full review
John Pemble, London Review of Books

“A lively and laconic biography”

Full review
Western Mail

“gives a singular editor his rightful place in the history of journalism ”

Full review
Sunday Times

“Closely researched and briskly written, Robinson's admirably thoughtful and economical biography it does an excellent job of explaining one of the most extraordinary individuals in journalistic history.”

Full review
Daily Mail

“A timely, well-written biography of the brilliant, flawed Victorian journalist. ”

Full review
London Review of Books

“A lively and laconic biography.”

Full review
Sally Morris, Daily Mail

“This compelling debut biography brings the seedy underbelly of Victorian journalism and its dodgiest practitioner brilliantly to life...”

Full review
The Times

“[A] remarkably timely and entertaining biography...”

Full review

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