The Corner


John: William Cobbett had an American career in the 1790s, which is how he came across my radar screen. He is a lively writer, still readable today, which is not true of a lot of even great eighteenth-century essayists. But he was both a fickle and bigoted partisan, not beyond making things up out of anecdotal evidence, or none. I am not a demographer of rural Georgian England. Was Cobbett’s description true? Was Pitt to blame? Were the former owners of the decayed houses better or worse off elsewhere? Where was their elsewhere?


The Latest