Catalogue


John Wilkes : the lives of a libertine /
John Sainsbury.
imprint
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2006.
description
xxiv, 282 p.
ISBN
0754656268 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2006.
isbn
0754656268 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5909405
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-03-01:
While John Wilkes's political career is well known to historians of late-18th-century Britain, Sainsbury's new biography is only incidentally concerned with retelling that story. Instead, he presents a more nuanced and wide-ranging study of Wilkes's personality and the cultural milieu in which he thrived. Toward this end, Sainsbury (Brock Univ.) organizes his book topically around the themes of family, ambition, sex, religion, class, and money. His central thesis is that Wilkes was the heir and often exemplar of the ambiguous heritage of 17th- and 18th-century aristocratic libertinage. Among other things, this tradition was given expression through free sex, free thinking, and free spending. In the 1760s, however, Wilkes was exiled from England. As a result, his political career was nearly ended, and the doors to aristocratic patronage closed to him. With his world turned upside down, Wilkes experimented with the idea of seeking a place in parliament through the electors of Westminster rather than as the client of an aristocrat. The sobriquet "Wilkes the devil" thus had a multitude of meanings, as this fine biography makes clear. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries. J. A. Jaffe University of Wisconsin--Whitewater
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This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2007
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Summaries
Main Description
John Wilkes remains one of the most colourful and intriguing characters of eighteenth-century Britain. While his political career has been much explored, much less has been written about his private life. This biography provides a more comprehensive examination of Wilkes throughout his long life than has hitherto been available. Taking a thematic rather than chronological approach, it is divided into six main chapters covering family, ambition, sex, religion, class and money, which allows a much more rounded picture of Wilkes to emerge.
Unpaid Annotation
John Wilkes remains one of the most colorful and intringuing characters of eighteenth century Britain. While Wilkes's political career has been much explored, particularly the period between 1763 and 1774, less has been written about his private life. This biography provides a comprehensive examination of Wilkes throughout his long life. Taking a thematic rather than chronological approach, it is divided into six main chapters covering family, ambition, sex, religion, class and money, allowing a more rounded picture of Wilkes to emerge.
Unpaid Annotation
John Wilkes remains one of the most colorful and intriguing characters of eighteenth century Britain. While Wilkes's political career has been much explored, particularly the period between 1763 and 1774, less has been written about his private life. This biography provides a comprehensive examination of Wilkes throughout his long life. Taking a thematic rather than chronological approach, it is divided into six main chapters covering family, ambition, sex, religion, class and money, allowing a more rounded picture of Wilkes to emerge.
Long Description
John Wilkes remains one of the most colourful and intriguing characters of eighteenth-century Britain. Born in 1725, the son of a prosperous London distiller, he was given the classical education of a gentleman, before entering politics as a Whig. Finding his party in opposition following the accession of George III in 1760 he took up his pen with sensational effect, and made a career out of excoriating the new administration and promoting the Whig interest. His charismatic style and vicious wit soon ensured that he became a figurehead for the radical cause, earning him many admirers and many enemies. Amongst the latter were the king, and the artist William Hogarth who famously depicted Wilkes as a grinning, squint-eyed, pug-nosed Jacobite.Whilst Wilkes's political career has been much explored, particularly the period between 1763 and 1774, much less has been written about his remarkable private life. This biography provides a more comprehensive examination of Wilkes throughout his long life than has hitherto been available. Taking a thematic, rather than chronological approach it is divided into six main chapters covering family, ambition, sex, religion, class and money, which allows a much more rounded picture of Wilkes to emerge. In so doing it provides a fascinating insight, not only into one of the most intriguing characters of the Georgian period, but also into wider eighteenth-century British society and its shifting attitudes to morality, politics and gender.
Bowker Data Service Summary
The author describes both the private and public life of John Wilkes. This book contains chapters on family, ambition, sex, religion, class, and money.
Table of Contents
Foreword
Introduction: Wilkes in private and public
Family
Ambition
Sex
Religion
Class
Money
Conclusion: a vivid enigma
Appendix
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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