Censorship and the working class reader - celebrating the bicentenary of William Hone's trials

Thursday, 16th November, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Hosted by Working Class Movement Library

Join us to celebrate the bicentenary of a pivotal event in the history of British censorship.

In December 1817, the radical satirist and publisher William Hone successfully defended himself in three high-profile prosecutions for blasphemous and seditious libel. Fiona Milne will introduce us to Hone’s trials and political satires, examining why the state tried so hard to suppress Hone’s pamphlets, and why Hone’s victory was important.

Katherine Inglis will explore the case of Henry Vizetelly, prosecuted and imprisoned for obscene libel, for publishing Emile Zola’s works in translation. She will use Vizetelly's case to look at how censorship targeted working-class readers.

We'll have a discussion on the issues raised, including censorship, working-class readers, political protest, “forbidden books”, and the changing legal face of censorship in Britain.

WCML has a wealth of related materials in its collections, and there’ll be a chance to handle original documents.

Free; booking details at wcml.org.uk/events

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Working Class Movement Library