Posted by: martinkc | January 22, 2009

Georgian England May Not Have Been Quite as Serene as We Imagine

According to well-known rabble-rouser Roy Porter, ten times as much property damage was inflicted in London during the Gordon Riots of 1780 than occurred in Paris over the entire course of the French Revolution.  (He utters this calumny in English Society in the 18th Century, page 101.)  Obviously Catholics were even more provocative in England than in France, although he does not say so, forcing otherwise constitutionally satisfied Englishmen to wreak such havoc.

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Responses

  1. I’ve always liked the word “calumny.”

  2. Dickens’s ghastly descriptions of the Gordon Riots in BARNABY RUDGE (complete with gruesome descriptions of people guzzling flaming wine as it burns in the street) trump anything he wrote about the French Revolution in A TALE OF TWO CITIES, but it’s interesting to see that the data shows that the property damage actually was more extensive in England.


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