The 19th Century Superstar

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Published on Jan 26, 2013

200 YEARS AGO, WILLIAM COBBETT – farmer, journalist and former red-coat soldier – now nearly fifty, had just spent two years in Newgate Prison for attacking the Government over the flogging of English soldiers by German mercenaries. He had been forced to sell his brilliant idea – a published record of debates in Parliament – to his printer, a certain Mr. Hansard . . .

But Cobbett continued to fight against injustice and corrupt government until forced, not for the first time, to flee to America in fear for his life.

In 1821, back in England, he embarked on the great piece of investigative journalism for which his name lives on.

Riding hundreds of miles through the English countryside he reported in his ‘Political Register’, on the true state of the countryside and those who lived there.

His fury at the exploitation of agricultural workers by many — though not all — country landowners makes compelling reading . . .

Published in book-form in 1830, ‘Rural Rides’ has never been out of print.

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