John Wilkes: A Friend to Liberty
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 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 - 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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