Leader of the Conservative party for seventeen years and prime minister for fourteen, the third Marquis of Salisbury was one of the most successful political practitioners of modern times, as well as a major international statesman. Yet he was also a prolific and pungent writer on politics. The large body of journalism which he produced during the first thirty years of his career enables us to examine in detail the views on politics and society which underlay his practical action. While his brand of Conservatism was conventional in its conclusions, it was distinguished by the highly sceptical and utilitarian mode of reasoning through which it sought to reach them, and by its insistence on a crudely conceived class struggle as the driving force of history and politics. Its central theme was hostility to 'democracy'; and when, after 1867, 'democracy' seemed to have arrived, it questioned how far the system of parliamentary government could work tolerably under the new dispensation.