One of the most defining moments in the histories of British satire and the public sphere took place in the late 1790s in an abandoned house in Piccadilly. Here George Canning and several fellow conservatives began writing and circulating their weekly newspaper the Anti-Jacobin. Although the periodical has been critically neglected, it is a valuable model for exploring how literary (partisan) politicians attempted to form a rational and critical public sphere through their satiric poetry. Founded by George Canning and edited by William Gifford, the Anti-Jacobin seems to reflect a reactionary conservative's ideology and has been summarily dismissed because of this one-sided nature. In this essay, I suggest a more nuanced reading of both Canning's biography and his Anti-Jacobin poetry that will give a fuller and more accurate version of Canning, one that illustrates a moderate reformer who is concerned with centralizing the extremism of the 1790s.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Thompson, Martha, "George Canning, Liberal Toryism, and Counterrevolutionary Satire in the Anti-Jacobin" (2013). All Theses and Dissertations. 3714.
George Canning, Liberal Toryism, 1790s, Anti-Jacobin, moderation, literary politics, culture wars, political, Jacobinism, extremeism, French Revolution, reactionary, poetry, active life, Habermas, Althusser, Arendt