Youth and Revolution in the 1790s: Letters of William Pattisson, Thomas Amyot and Henry Crabb Robinson

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The 1790s were an extraordinary decade, with revolution in France and hopes of democratic reform in England. Recently it has been argued that patriotic Englishmen hastened to the banner of conservatism, in opposition to the turmoil of events in France. Yet, as this book shows, the English response was far more complex and interesting than that. Youth and Revolution in the 1790s publishes and analyses for the first time the recently discovered letters of three young English reformers in those heady days. It shows that patriotic Englishmen were not automatically conservative and anti-French. Instead, trainee lawyers William Pattisson, Thomas Amyot and Henry Crabb Robinson - who wrote candidly to each other from their homes in Witham, Norwich and London - discussed intently the case for reform. Their letters provide a unique insight into the intellectual and political milieu of English radicalism. In addition, the correspondence provides enough clues to the identity of the anonymous authors of The Cabinet, described by E.P. Thompson as 'the most impressive of the quasi-Jacobin publications of the period', to enable the editors to provide a list of the contributors to this key publication and to throw new light on the excitements and tensions of English radicalism in this period.

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Introduction 1 by Penelope J Corfield
Introduction 2 by Chris Evans
Part II

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