Catalogue


John Wilkes : the scandalous father of civil liberty /
Arthur H. Cash.
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2006.
description
xiii, 482 p.
ISBN
0300108710 (alk. paper), 9780300108712 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2006.
isbn
0300108710 (alk. paper)
9780300108712 (alk. paper)
contents note
The making of a gentleman -- The squire of Aylesbury -- Into Parliament -- The North Briton -- Number 45 -- The Great George Street printing shop -- Trials and a trial of honor -- Exile -- The Middlesex election -- Incapacitation -- The City of London -- My lord mayor -- Poverty, paternity, and parliamentary reform -- Chamberlain.
catalogue key
5817810
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Pulitzer Prize, USA, 2007 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2006-02-01:
A radical member of Parliament, libertine, spendthrift, editor, reformer, and all-around hell-raiser, John Wilkes (1726-97) remains a rebuke to any who claim the study of history dull. Wilkes's long and still relevant crusade for liberty against a government bending the laws to silence its enemies made him a hero to the English middle class and influenced the rebellious American colonials' revolution and the subsequent system of American government. The U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment provisions against unreasonable search and seizure are the legacy of Wilkes's home being ransacked on political charges under George III. Cash (English, emeritus, SUNY, New Paltz; Laurence Sterne) states he writes for a general audience, but the sheer mass of detail that makes for a comprehensive and scholarly chronicle-backed by extensive notes and bibliography-will make for slow going for his intended lay reader. Though essential for academic collections on civil liberties, 18th-century Britain, and the U.S. Constitution, this book's density of approach and its steep price make it an optional, albeit very worthy, purchase for public libraries.-Michael O. Eshleman, Kings Mills, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2007-01-01:
This is a fascinating biography of a very important figure in 18th-century English politics. Cash (SUNY, New Palz) admits that his view of Wilkes is different from that of previous historians. Although Wilkes features in almost all British history textbooks, he is often viewed as a contradictory, even frivolous figure whose actions had significant but perhaps unintended results. In this carefully researched book, Cash shows Wilkes to be a significant thinker who was respected by some of the greatest intellectuals and artists of his age. He acted courageously upon a consistent political theory and in the end was largely responsible for the civil liberties taken for granted in modern Britain. Cash also demonstrates how Wilkes was an important influence on the leaders of the American Revolution and the civil liberties they included in the US Constitution. The book's straightforward, engaging style will appeal to general audiences as well academics. Because of this and the book's clear explanation of key structures, events, and personalities of 18th-century England, it could be used with great benefit in undergraduate and graduate courses on British or US history, politics, or culture. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. L. B. Williams Central Connecticut State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"It is difficult to believe that John Wilkes, a notorious womanizer and scandal-monger, was a genuine hero of civil liberties and political democracy on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 18th century, but hero he was and in this engaging book Arthur Cash gives Wilkes the serious treatment he has long deserved."�Eric Foner, Columbia University
"John Wilkes was one of the most influential and charismatic political activists in British history. He has attrached many biographers, none better informed on his private and public life than this author."--H.T. Dickinson, The Historian
"Arthur Cash's biography of Wilkes combines outstanding scholarshipthe product of years of archival researchwith a compelling, nuanced and beautifully told narrative of the life of one of the eighteenth century's most compelling characters."John Brewer, author of The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century
�Arthur Cash�s biography of Wilkes combines outstanding scholarship�the product of years of archival research�with a compelling, nuanced and beautifully told narrative of the life of one of the eighteenth century�s most compelling characters.��John Brewer, author of The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century
"Arthur Cash treats the career of John Wilkes as a central episode in the rise of modern liberty. The story is told with authority and vivid feeling: it has the force and immediacy of good journalism and a wealth of historical detail hardly available to Wilkes or his contemporaries. This book rescues Wilkes from legend back to life."--David Bromwich, Yale University ""
"It is difficult to believe that John Wilkes, a notorious womanizer and scandal-monger, was a genuine hero of civil liberties and political democracy on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 18th century, but hero he was and in this engaging book Arthur Cash gives Wilkes the serious treatment he has long deserved."--Eric Foner, Columbia University
"It is difficult to believe that John Wilkes, a notorious womanizer and scandal-monger, was a genuine hero of civil liberties and political democracy on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 18th century, but hero he was and in this engaging book Arthur Cash gives Wilkes the serious treatment he has long deserved."Eric Foner, Columbia University
"It is difficult to believe that John Wilkes, a notorious womanizer and scandal-monger, was a genuine hero of civil liberties and political democracy on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 18th century, but hero he was and in this engaging book Arthur Cash gives Wilkes the serious treatment he has long deserved."-Eric Foner, Columbia University
"Arthur Cash treats the career of John Wilkes as a central episode in the rise of modern liberty. The story is told with authority and vivid feeling: it has the force and immediacy of good journalism and a wealth of historical detail hardly available to Wilkes or his contemporaries. This book rescues Wilkes from legend back to life."�David Bromwich, Yale University
"Arthur Cash's biography of Wilkes combines outstanding scholarship-the product of years of archival research-with a compelling, nuanced and beautifully told narrative of the life of one of the eighteenth century's most compelling characters."-John Brewer, author of The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century
"Arthur Cash''s carefully detailed new biography of Wilkes examines the life and career of a founding father of civil liberty both seriously and sympathetically, considering Wilkes within the broad cultural context of the volatile decades in which he was most active."--Stephen C. Behrendt,Eighteenth-Century Life
"Arthur Cash treats the career of John Wilkes as a central episode in the rise of modern liberty. The story is told with authority and vivid feeling: it has the force and immediacy of good journalism and a wealth of historical detail hardly available to Wilkes or his contemporaries. This book rescues Wilkes from legend back to life."-David Bromwich, Yale University
"Arthur Cash treats the career of John Wilkes as a central episode in the rise of modern liberty. The story is told with authority and vivid feeling: it has the force and immediacy of good journalism and a wealth of historical detail hardly available to Wilkes or his contemporaries. This book rescues Wilkes from legend back to life."David Bromwich, Yale University
"Arthur Cash's biography of Wilkes combines outstanding scholarshipthe product of years of archival researchwith a compelling, nuanced and beautifully told narrative of the life of one of the eighteenth century's most compelling characters."John Brewer, author ofThe Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century
"Arthur Cash's biography of Wilkes combines outstanding scholarship--the product of years of archival research--with a compelling, nuanced and beautifully told narrative of the life of one of the eighteenth century's most compelling characters."--John Brewer, author of "The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century "
"An enjoyable biography of the libertine, civil libertarian, and popular symbol of protest. Cash''s treatment seeks to remind those who might have forgotten that Wilkes was the eighteenth century''s principal champion of free speech and a free press."--Andrew Shankman, Journal of the Early Republic
"Arthur Cash''s carefully detailed new biography of Wilkes examines the life and career of a founding father of civil liberty both seriously and sympathetically, considering Wilkes within the broad cultural context of the volatile decades in which he was most active."--Stephen C. Behrendt, Eighteenth-Century Life
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, January 2006
Library Journal, February 2006
Choice, January 2007
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This lively biography draws a full portrait of John Wilkes from his childhood days through his heyday as a journalist and agitator, his defiance of government prosecutions for libel and obscenity, his fight against exclusion from Parliament and his service as Lord Mayor of London on the eve of the American Revolution.
Long Description
One of the most colorful figures in English political history, John Wilkes (1726-97) is remembered as the father of the British free press, defender of civil and political liberties, and hero to American colonists, who attended closely to his outspoken endorsements of liberty. Wilkes's political career was rancorous, involving duels, imprisonments in the Tower of London, and the Massacre of St. George's Fields in which seven of his supporters were shot to death by government troops. He was equally famous for his "private" life--a confessed libertine, a member of the notorious Hellfire Club, and the author of what has been called the dirtiest poem in the English language. This lively biography draws a full portrait of John Wilkes from his childhood days through his heyday as a journalist and agitator, his defiance of government prosecutions for libel and obscenity, his fight against exclusion from Parliament, and his service as lord mayor of London on the eve of the American Revolution. Told here with the force and immediacy of a firsthand newspaper account, Wilkes's own remarkable story is inseparable from the larger story of modern civil liberties and how they came to fruition.
Main Description
A highly entertaining biography of the incredible John Wilkes, champion of liberty and irrepressible libertine."It is difficult to believe that John Wilkes, a notorious womanizer and scandal-monger, was a genuine hero of civil liberties and political democracy on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 18th century, but hero he was and in this engaging book Arthur Cash gives Wilkes the serious treatment he has long deserved."--Eric Foner, Columbia University"[A] superb biography. . . . After finishing the last page I turned back to the beginning in order to enjoy it all over again."--Tom Hodgkinson, "Independent on Sunday""Informative and enjoyable. . . . So well researched, so full of fascinating detail, . . . so delightfully buoyant." - John Barrell, "London Review of Books"
Main Description
One of the most colorful figures in English political history, John Wilkes (1726-97) is remembered as the father of the British free press, defender of civil and political liberties, and hero to American colonists, who attended closely to his outspoken endorsements of liberty. Wilkes's political career was rancorous, involving duels, imprisonments in the Tower of London, and the Massacre of St. George's Fields in which seven of his supporters were shot to death by government troops. He was equally famous for his "private" life--a confessed libertine, a member of the notorious Hellfire Club, and the author of what has been called the dirtiest poem in the English language.This lively biography draws a full portrait of John Wilkes from his childhood days through his heyday as a journalist and agitator, his defiance of government prosecutions for libel and obscenity, his fight against exclusion from Parliament, and his service as lord mayor of London on the eve of the American Revolution. Told here with the force and immediacy of a firsthand newspaper account, Wilkes's own remarkable story is inseparable from the larger story of modern civil liberties and how they came to fruition.
Table of Contents
Preemptive Glossaryp. xi
Prologuep. 1
The Making of a Gentlemanp. 5
The Squire of Aylesburyp. 17
Into Parliamentp. 37
The North Britonp. 65
Number 45p. 96
The Great George Street Printing Shopp. 121
Trials and a Trial of Honorp. 143
Exilep. 165
The Middlesex Election Controversyp. 204
Incapacitationp. 237
The City of Londonp. 267
My Lord Mayorp. 312
Poverty, Paternity, and Parliamentary Reformp. 328
Chamberlainp. 351
Epiloguep. 375
Afterwordp. 395
Notesp. 397
Sourcesp. 451
Indexp. 465
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem