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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Pitt The Younger

Today I'm a guest on fellow Pen & Sword author Catherine Curzon's wonderful Georgian blog. William Pitt the Younger was a reforming spirit in his early days as a politician, but changed his mind in the aftermath of the turbulent French Revolution and war with France. Pitt became an implacable opponent of parliamentary reform, and his spies kept close watch on the corresponding societies which grew up to discuss Radical ideas like those of Thomas Paine.

Images: France; Freedom. Britain: Slavery
An unusual opposition print, 1789. On the left can be seen Jacques Necker, the French finance minister, in a land of 'Freedom’; on the right, Pitt rules over a land of ‘Slavery’. Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-USZC2-3583

Britannia between Scylla & Charybdis
Pitt steers a small boat carrying Britannia, The Constitution, towards a castle with a flag inscribed "Haven of Public Happiness". They are pursued by ‘sharks’ Sheridan, Fox, and Dr Priestley (the Radical). James Gillray, 1793.Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-USZC4-3137

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