John Wilkes: A Friend to Liberty

Hardcover | April 1, 1992

byPeter D. G. Thomas

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Often deemed the founder of British radicalism, John Wilkes (1725-1797) had a shattering impact on the politics of his time. His audacity in challenging government authority was matched by his skill and determination in attaining his objectives: the freedom of the press to criticize ministersand report Parliament; enhanced security for individuals and their property from arbitrary arrest and seizure; and the rights of electors. That he was a political maverick, of witty and wicked reputation, has led historians to underestimate him - this is the first researched biography since 1917.Contemporaries appreciated his achievements more than posterity, one obituarist writing that `his name will be connected with our history'. In this fascinating and original biography, Peter Thomas provides an intriguing portrait of the man George III referred to as `that Devil, Wilkes'.

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Often deemed the founder of British radicalism, John Wilkes (1725-1797) had a shattering impact on the politics of his time. His audacity in challenging government authority was matched by skill and determination in attaining his objectives: the freedom of the press to criticize ministers and report Parliament; enhanced security for in...

From the Publisher

Often deemed the founder of British radicalism, John Wilkes (1725-1797) had a shattering impact on the politics of his time. His audacity in challenging government authority was matched by his skill and determination in attaining his objectives: the freedom of the press to criticize ministersand report Parliament; enhanced security for...

Professor of Modern History at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, Peter D. G. Thomas is the author of numerous studies in eighteenth-century politics.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:290 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.87 inPublished:April 1, 1992Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198205449

ISBN - 13:9780198205449

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From Our Editors

Often deemed the founder of British radicalism, John Wilkes (1725-1797) had a shattering impact on the politics of his time. His audacity in challenging government authority was matched by skill and determination in attaining his objectives: the freedom of the press to criticize ministers and report Parliament; enhanced security for individuals and their property from arbitrary arrest and seizure; and the rights of electors. That he was a political maverick, of witty and wicked reputation, has led historians to underestimate him, and this is the first researched biography since 1917. Contemporaries appreciated his achievements more that posterity, one obituarist writing that 'his name will be connected with our history'. In this fascinating and original biography, Peter Thomas provides an intriguing portrait of the man George III referred to as 'that Devil Wilkes'.

Editorial Reviews

`As one would expect, the author's command of parliamentary sources and the newspaper press is second to none, and the work has an authoritative precision which many readers will appreciate ... essentially a political biography. As such it succeeds very well and will be recommended reading atmore than one level.'G.M. Ditchfield, University of Kent at Canterbury, BJECS 20.2 (1997)