8vo, pp. 8; a few faint marks, inner bifolium folded at backfold; very good in recent marbled boards, gilt morocco label to upper board.
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The Political litany, diligently revised; to be said or sung, until the appointed change come, throughout the dominion of England and Wales, and the town of Berwick upon Tweed. By special command.
One of the satirical pamphlets for which the political writer and publisher William Hone (1780-1842) was famously put on trial for blasphemy in December 1817, ‘in one of the great case histories of all blasphemy trials’ (ODNB), the other two being The late John Wilkes’s catechism and The Sinecurists’ creed or belief (both advertised on the title-page here). The trials – a separate one for each publication, held on successive days – attracted enormous publicity. Hone was acquitted at each one, and acclaimed as champion of the people’s rights.
Other editions appeared in the same year, published by Richard Carlile in London, and John Marshall in Newcastle.
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The Trials of Arthur Thistlewood, and others, for high treason, at the Old Bailey Sessions-House, commencing on Saturday, the 15th, and ending on Thursday, the 27th April, 1820. Taken in short hand, according to the method invented by John Byrom … Illustrated by back and front views of the premises in Cato Street … and by several original portraits of the principal conspirators … with an appendix, containing circumstantial details of the execution and decapitation of Thistlewood, Tidd, Ings, Davidson, and Brunt.
First edition, a fairly deluxe account by the usual standards, of the Cato Street Conspiracy trials. In 1820 five conspirators, probably from a much larger group of Spenceans centred on the radical Marylebone Union Reading Society, including one black man, Thomas Davidson, were hanged and beheaded for high treason after plotting to murder cabinet ministers.
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First edition. Chrysal’s enormous popularity derived from its thinly-veiled chronicle of contemporary scandals in political high life: ‘An excoriating satire that won Johnstone respect as a wit but few friends, the novel is set roughly during the period of the Seven Years’ War (1757-63) and pretends to reveal political secrets, and to expose the private profligacy of many of the well-known – an highly colourful – public characters of the time’ (ODNB).