Imagining the King's Death: Figurative Treason, Fantasies of Regicide, 1793-1796

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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 and imaginary reading, 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 inseparable.
 

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Contenido

I The Last Interview
45
When Kings are Hurled from their Thrones
83
Convention and Conspiracy
107
The British Convention
122
The Trial of Thomas Walker
150
Secret Committees
162
The Arming of the LCS
190
Parliament and Prejudication
211
The Trial of Thomas Hardy
296
The Trials of Tooke and Thelwall
344
A Conspiracy without Conspirators
366
The PopGun Plot A Tragicomedy by Thomas Upton
409
Traitor or Lunatic The Arrest of Richard Brothers
462
The Treasonable Practices Act
507
King Killing
558
Fire Famine and Slaughter
577

The Trials of Watt and Downie
232
The Charge to the Grand Jury
265
Plant Plant the Tree
587
Derechos de autor

Términos y frases comunes

Acerca del autor (2000)


John Barrell is Professor of English and Co-Director, Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, University of York.

Información bibliográfica