Caroline and Cobbett

Gardner, John (2012) Caroline and Cobbett. CPELAC International Journal, 1 (2). pp. 130-140.

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The ending of the war with France in 1815 brought a severe recession to Britain as orders for war goods were cancelled and 200 000 demobilized service personnel rejoined the labor market. Unemployment and even starvation were a part of life for the 95% of people in Britain who had no access to political representation. After the massacre at St. Peter’s Fields in Manchester in August 1819, when troops trampled their way through an unarmed crowd, it seemed that the opportunity to gain representation through peaceful protest had failed. The public executions of eight men for High Treason in 1820 also showed that any revolt would be ruthlessly crushed. The third avenue to representation, patronage from a person in a position to change the government, appeared when Caroline of Brunswick, the estranged wife of the Prince Regent, returned to Britain to claim her rights as queen after the death of her father-in-law George III. The impact of Caroline’s return seemed to threaten the Government itself, and because of this it produced strange alliances, when radicals, and even republicans like Percy Shelley, appeared to support a queen. However the strangest alliance is probably the relationship between the rabble-rousing proprietor of the Political Register, William Cobbett, and Queen Caroline. That the son of a small Sussex farmer could become the queen’s address writer, and at the same time subvert her cause to his own radical agenda is something that had never occurred before this political moment. This paper will explore the relationship between Caroline and Cobbett, and in doing so will examine an extreme example of the interaction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ literature.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Cobbett
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2013 15:53
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:17

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