Hone, William (1780–1842)

Radical satirist, journalist and bookseller. He was tried on three successive days, 18–20 December 1817, for blasphemous and seditious libel, but was acquitted after conducting his own defence, speaking for about seven hours on all three days. His The Political House that Jack Built (1819) was one of the most famous and bestselling satires of its day. In this phase of his career Southey regarded Hone with contempt and was anxious to see him jailed or transported. Hone later devoted himself to miscellaneous literature, and his political ideas modified as he became an increasingly devout Christian and an occasional correspondent of Southey’s.

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