Jeremiah Joyce: Radical, Dissenter and Writer

1st Edition

John Issitt

Published November 29, 2017
Reference - 203 Pages
ISBN 9780815389927 - CAT# K344543


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Jeremiah Joyce was one of the accused in the famous Treason Trials of 1794 which marked the suppression of radical agitation in Britain for the ensuing twenty years. He was a political radical who imbibed the traditions of the 'commonwealthman' and actively campaigned for a more democratic and representative state. Through the early 1790s he acted as the metropolitan political agent for his patron the Earl of Stanhope and he liased between radical groups whilst also distributing radical literature including Tom Paine's Rights of Man. He was one of the very few artisans at the end of the eighteenth century adopted by the literary and scientific intelligentsia and was unique in training to become a Unitarian minister at the age of 23 after serving a seven-year trade apprenticeship and having worked as a journeyman. This work traces the legacies, traditions and visions of the English Enlightenment as they are expressed through Joyce's life and literary production. It explores the evolution of these traditions against the threatening background of the French revolution and the developing imperatives for education in general, and science education in particular. By tracing the linkages between political, educational, scientific and publishing cultures, it reflects on the issues of late eighteenth century patronage, the literary forms of popular science and the evolution of the metropolitan book trade. In so doing the book recovers the life of a hitherto much neglected science writer and political activist and contributes to the histories of politics, education, science and the developing discipline of book history.

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