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Books > History > British & Irish history > 1700 to 1900

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Cock of the Walk (Hardcover) Loot Price: R612
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Cock of the Walk (Hardcover): Roy Lewis

Cock of the Walk (Hardcover)

Roy Lewis

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List price R677 Loot Price R612 Discovery Miles 6 120 | Repayment Terms: R56 pm x 12* You Save R65 (10%)

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A lighthearted historical novel, illustrated by Punch cartoons, that's essentially a gently satirical catalogue of every major character ever heard from in Victorian England. Statesmen and clerics in the country of the Reformation are dismayed when, in 1849, Pope Pius IX issues an edict appointing Monsignor Wiseman, an Englishman, as Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. Skillfully exploited by the London Times editorials of John Delane, news of the appointment and its ramifications for the Protestant establishment have Prime Minister Lord Russell searching for a way to limit the power, influence, and wealth of the Catholic Church without antagonizing mostly Catholic Ireland. This is the centerpiece around which revolve vignettes of the rich, famous, infamous, and merely gifted of the era - Queen Victoria and her Prince Albert; Benjamin Disraeli, leader in the House of Commons; writers Carlyle and Thackeray; poet Alfred Tennyson; Karl Marx; Florence Nightingale; a clutch of Pre-Raphaelite painters (currently buoyed by Ruskin's support), and a host of others. All this as the Great Crystal Palace is being erected - to boos and bouquets. British journalist Lewis (The Evolution Man, 1993) tells a story that has echoes in contemporary power politics and media hype - and tells it with considerable charm. (Kirkus Reviews)
Cock of the Walk is an ingenious reconstruction of an episode in English social and religious history. It is based in the mid-Victorian era, at the turn of the Great Exhibition, and has echoes today. Pope Pius IX hopes that the newly appointed Cardinal Wiseman, Archbishop of Westminster, will spread the papal message throughout Britain. But he has misjudged the strength of the 'anti-popery' establishment and the power of the press. Should the British retaliate with a naval blockade? Lord Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary rejects the idea. The Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, is indecisive on this and other matters, including the erection of the Crystal Palace. He half hopes it will fall down and so divert attention from Wiseman. Thomas Carlyle bemoans the lack of political vision, of leadership.... Meanwhile other activities are afoot, including political intrigue. The Queen and Prince Albert are brazen in their views of those in the corridors of power. Her Majesty cannot abide that upstart Disraeli. A medley of contemporary figures, the good and the great, flit across the stage. These and the ambience of the period are authentically captured in an entertaining narrative, spiced with a selection of satirical engravings from Punch.

General

Imprint: Peter Owen Publishers
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Release date: April 2000
First published: May 1996
Authors: Roy Lewis
Dimensions: 210 x 144 x 17mm (L x W x T)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 160
ISBN-13: 978-0-7206-0942-4
Categories: Books > Fiction > General & literary fiction > Modern fiction
Books > Humanities > History > British & Irish history > 1700 to 1900
Books > History > British & Irish history > 1700 to 1900
LSN: 0-7206-0942-9
Barcode: 9780720609424

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