Glorious Causes explores the politics of theatricality and the theatricality of politics in late Georgian Britain, at a time when the British nation can be described as a stage for reform. 1832 is particularly significant for legislation in relation to both the drama and the parliamentaryfranchise. In many ways, though, the forces of change date back to the later part of the eighteenth-century, and were set in motion by powerful liberation movements, not only in France and North America, but in Britain itself. Particularly important, in addition to agitation for the vote, were themovements for abolition of the slave trade and slave emancipation, the attempt to improve conditions in the factory, resistance to the exploitation of agricultural workers and, not least, the early struggle for women's rights. Political rhetoric was characterized by a rich vocabulary, drawing ontheatrical language and forms, from melodrama and tragedy, to comedy and burlesque. Most importantly, activity in the theatres themselves, often dismissed until recently as vulgar or sentimental, was highly charged with political dynamic and controversy, central to the drama of reform.