AMELIA OPIE AND THE NORWICH RADICALS

ID: 27151
£950.00
The Cabinet.

PERIODICAL: THE CABINET,, The Cabinet. By a Society of Gentlemen. Norwich: printed and sold by J. March. Sold also by J.S. Jordan, Fleet-Street, London. 1795.

3 vols., 8vo., (2) + vi + 310 + (2) and (2) + 318 + (2) and (2) + 318 + (2)pp., closed tear in one leaf of vol.III (but no loss), contemporary uniform calf with pretty red morocco gilt spine labels, a little wear to bindings, split in upper joint of vol.III, even so the bindings all sound.

First and only edition and all published of this provincial periodical.

With the first issue in vol.I dated 11th October 1794, the Cabinet was a collection of primarily political, radical and economic "Letters" with an evident bias towards Republicanism. (Each title-page is embellished with a device incorporating the Cap of Liberty). The authors of these essays inevitably included Amelia Opie (née Alderson) and her circle both in Norwich and in London. "Amelia Alderson contributed fifteen poems to the first three issues. Increasing revolutionary violence and warfare polarized public opinion, however, and a large show trial of leading ‘English Jacobins’, including the Aldersons' acquaintances Thomas Holcroft and John Horne Tooke, was scheduled for November 1794. A month earlier Amelia Alderson had told Susannah Taylor that she was pessimistic at the outcome, that The Cabinet was considered a ‘dangerous’ publication, and that the Aldersons and their friends would emigrate to the United States should the trial have a ‘fatal’ result. Horne Tooke was acquitted, and the government abandoned the other prosecutions; Amelia Opie later denied indignantly William Beloe's story that in her joy she had climbed over benches to kiss Horne Tooke." [Gary Kelly in ODNB]. The essays in these volumes cover pretty well all the issues of the day: e.g. government, emigration, public finance, the "rights of woman", population, war, education, popular societies, negroes, Habeas Corpus, the "public mind", despotism, public charities, &c. &c.