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Imagining the King's Death: Figurative Treason, Fantasies of Regicide, 1793 - 1796 (1st edition hardback)

Barrell, John

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ISBN 10: 0198112920 / ISBN 13: 9780198112921
Verlag: Oxford, 2000
Gebraucht Zustand: Good Hardcover
Verkäufer 84 Charing Cross Books (Cambridge, CAMBS, Vereinigtes Königreich)

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~~Withdrawn Ex-Library Copy, usual stamps to end-papers~~VG-/Good+ 1st ed 2000 Oxford hardback, unclipped DJ, very impressive original study of fantasies of treason. 1.5cm closed tear to top rear corner of DJ and scuff to board beneath, library label inside front cover and Withdrawn stamps to end-papers, else lightly used and near VG, tight and bright. Sent Airmail at no extra cost; Worldwide Shipping IMMEDIATE 1ST CLASS/AIRMAIL DISPATCH Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: Under 1 kilogram. Category: Politics & Government; ISBN/EAN: 9780198112921. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 056725. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 056725

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Imagining the King's Death: Figurative ...

Verlag: Oxford

Erscheinungsdatum: 2000

Einband: Hardcover


Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Good

Auflage: First Edition.

Über diesen Titel


It is high treason in British law to 'imagine' the king's death. But after the execution of Louis XVI in 1793, everyone in Britain must have found themselves imagining that the same fate might befall George III. How easy was it to distinguish between fantasising about the death of George and 'imagining' it, in the legal sense of 'intending' or 'designing'? John Barrell examines this question in the context of the political trials of the mid-1790s and the controversies they generated. He shows how the law of treason was adapted in the years following Louis's death to punish what was acknowledged to be a 'modern' form of treason unheard of when the law had been framed. The result, he argues, was the invention of a new, an imaginary, a 'figurative' treason, by which the question of who was imagining the king's death, the supposed traitors or those who charged them with treason, became inescapable.


John Barrell's book crosses the boundaries between literary criticism and history. It throws light not just upon the changing use of language and its deployment, but on the operation of the law in the 18th century, the use of propaganda, the exercise of state power and the ability of opponents of government both to defend themselves and to attack their oppressors. ( Mortality)

Replete with primary source material, a mastery of historical detail and a range of careful and subtly crafted arguments ... fascinating and scholarly enquiry. ( Mortality)

From playbills to trial transcripts, from caricatures to poems, from pamphlets to parliamentary debates: all of these are brought marvellously alive by Barrell ... but the real significance of Imagining the King's Death seems to me to be the challenge it sets to those of us who would wish to read the culture of the past in the fullest way imaginable ( The Review of English Studies)

A review cannot do more than sketch in the detailed subject matter and the closely argued thesis presented in a book of this length, complexity and subtlety. What needs to be made abundantly clear is that this is a work of the finest scholarship. Imagining the King's Death is deeply researched, rigorously argued and beautifully written. What makes it a work of such distinction is its originality ... Historians of all kinds will learn from John Barrell's efforts that they have much to learn from such a detailed, rigorous and sophisticated reading of vitally important political texts. ( H. T. Dickinson, Times Literary Supplement)

The detail is meticulous and the account magisterial ... Barrell's grasp of legal argument and distortion, his detailed reconstruction of the activities of the reformers and those who sought to restrain them, and his literary eye for ambiguity and rhetorical play make the book a magnificent achievement. ( The Times Higher Education Supplement 07/12/2001)

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