- John Wilkes by Peter D.G. Thomas
Oxford, 280 pp, £25.00, March 1996, ISBN 0 19 820544 9
With a lamentable record in actually winning power, English Radicals have been content to comment on, be rude about and occasionally constrain those in office. To be tolerated by a conservative majority, a Radical should be as patriotic as any right-wing xenophobe, so disreputable in private life and judgment that the country would have no qualms about denying him office, and so good-hearted that the rumour could get about that Radicalism was really nothing more than a misplaced desire to tease. John Wilkes met all these criteria, and was therefore much loved.
The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.