The Laughter of Triumph : William Hone and the Fight for the Free Press, Paperback

The Laughter of Triumph : William Hone and the Fight for the Free Press Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Satirist William Hone is the forgotten hero of the British press.

In 1817, he was forced to defend himself against a censorious government, in what amounted to a show trial pitting a self-educated "Fleet Street" journalist against the Lord Chief Justice and a hand-picked jury.

Hone's crime was to ridicule the powers that be. Through Hone's life, Ben Wilson looks at the history of the struggle for free expression against repressive law.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9780571224715



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William Hone just happens to be my gt gt gt gt grandfather (one of them anyway). I've always been aware of him as a fairly minor literary figure in early 19th century England (he knew Charles Dickens and collaborated with Dickens' illustrator George Cruikshank). According to Ben Wilson he's a much more important figure than that, though he's been largely forgotten. He's certainly the only celebrity ancestor I possess.

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