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By Frederick Burwick

Among the arrival of the French Revolution and the short-lived luck of the Chartist flow, overworked and underpaid labourers struggled to accomplish harmony and collective bargaining. That background has been instructed in different bills of the age, yet by no means ahead of has it been instructed when it comes to the theatre of the interval. to appreciate the play lists of a theatre, it can be crucial to envision the group which that theatre serves. within the labouring-class groups of London and the provinces, the performances have been tailored to fit the neighborhood audiences, even if weavers, or miners, or box employees. interpreting the stipulations and features of consultant provincial theatres from the 1790s to 1830s, Frederick Burwick argues that the that means of a play alterations with each swap within the functionality situation. As contributing components in that fluctuate, Burwick attends to neighborhood political and cultural situations in addition to to theatrical actions and advancements in other places.

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The peace, in both cases, brought a surge in unemployment and a rise in prices. In the latter case the economic crisis was far worse. Major Sturgeon has served with the home guard marching his troops through the streets and across the fields: Sir Jollup: Well, major, our wars are done; the rattling drum and squeaking fife now wound our ears no more. Major Sturgeon: True, sir Jacob, our corps is disembodied; so the French may sleep in security. Sir Jollup proceeds to welcome his two daughters, Mrs Bruin and Mrs Sneak.

Huddersfield, at the time of the Luddite uprisings to be discussed in Chapter 6, was the site of considerable mayhem as mills and machinery were destroyed by desperate workers. One target in the attacks was a notoriously cruel Huddersfield mill owner named Cartwright; another target was William Horsfall, a mill-owner and a passionate prosecutor of Luddites, who was killed in 1812. Huddersfield, fourteen years later, was a much tamer place when the manager of the theatre booked Junius Brutus Booth for a one-night engagement.

If Moncrieff’s satire had been the only one to respond to the public agitation over Queen Caroline, it would have brought strong legal repercussion. But the satires were so numerous that the radicals could pen their scurrilous attacks with impunity. This temporary abatement of the restrictions on political satire, as E. P. Thompson observed, enabled Hone and Cruikshank ‘to produce some of their most glorious lampoons’ (1968, 778, 794, 810). The relative freedom was short-lived, but the resistance to censorship persisted.

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