William Cobbett. The Pride of Britannia Humbled. 1817.


William Cobbett (1763-1835) was an English journalist, political agitator, propagandist, and pamphleteer, known in his day as the most forceful English radical in the reform movement. Recognized today for his book Rural Rides (1830), which the British Museum included in its landmark 1963 exhibition "Printing and the Mind of Man." Many of his writings, particularly his early ones, are very rare in their original editions. The Belmont Abbey collection includes two. Note how the title page typography resembles a period daily newspaper or political broadside. Cobbett lived in America from 1792 to 1800, where he stirred controversy by harsh public criticisms of Dr. Joseph Priestly and of the eminent physician and politician Dr. Benjamin Rush (whose book is also in this exhibition). Rush successfully sued him for libel, and Cobbett had to flee to England in 1800 to avoid severe punishment.[EA] A further biographical note is included on the page featuring Cobbett's Life of Andrew Jackson (1835).

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