Regency Spies

Regency Spies

4.25 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
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Sue Wilkes reveals the shadowy world of Britain's spies, rebels and secret societies from the late 1780s until 1820. Drawing on contemporary literature and official records, Wilkes unmasks the real conspirators and tells the tragic stories of the unwitting victims sent to the gallows. In this 'age of Revolutions', when the French fought for liberty, Britain's upper classes feared revolution was imminent. Thomas Paine's incendiary Rights of Man called men to overthrow governments which did not safeguard their rights. Were Jacobins and Radical reformers in England and Scotland secretly plotting rebellion? Ireland, too, was a seething cauldron of unrest, its impoverished people oppressed by their Protestant masters. Britain's governing elite could not rely on the armed services - even Royal Navy crews mutinied over brutal conditions. To keep the nation safe, a 'war chest' of secret service money funded a network of spies to uncover potential rebels amongst the underprivileged masses. It had some famous successes: dashing Colonel Despard, friend of Lord Nelson, was executed for treason.Sometimes in the deadly game of cat-and-mouse between spies and their prey suspicion fell on the wrong men, like poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Even peaceful reformers risked arrest for sedition. Political meetings like Manchester's 'Peterloo' were ruthlessly suppressed, and innocent blood spilt. Repression bred resentment - and a diabolical plot was born. The stakes were incredibly high: rebels suffered the horrors of a traitor's death when found guilty. Some conspirators' secrets died with them on the scaffold...
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 22.86mm | 539.77g
  • Barnsley, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8-page plate section
  • 1783400617
  • 9781783400614
  • 664,219

Review quote

"The book is, as one would expect from an experienced historian and author, skilfully written, covering a range of cases whilst never seeming disjointed or convoluted. For those with little knowledge of the area, there is valuable background about the role of the local magistrate in recruiting spies, and a helpful appendix of who the key Regency conspirators were, when they were active, and who the politicians and magistrates were who were charged with dealing with them were."--Your Family History
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About Sue Wilkes

SUE WILKES has written extensively on social history, and industrial history and heritage. Sue was born in Lancashire; she has lived in Cheshire since the early 1980s. She read Physics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and is a member of the Society of Authors. A creative writing tutor specialising in non-fiction, Sue is married, with two children. Sue is the author of seven books and is a well-known family historian. A regular contributor to Jane Austen's Regency World for over a decade, she has written many articles for history and family history magazines such Who Do You Think You Are? and BBC History.
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Rating details

12 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 42% (5)
4 42% (5)
3 17% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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