The King and the Catholics : The Fight for Rights 1829
by Lady Antonia Fraser
Editor: Orion Publishing Co
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The history of Catholic Emancipation begins with the violent Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fueled by the diminution of Penal Laws against Roman Catholics dating back to the 16th century.Fifty years later, the passage of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a’bloodless revolution’.To the Irish Catholics was a “millstone”, as described by an English aristocrat, or were they the first to actWhile the English Catholics, the aristocracy and the Irish, peasants and merchants approached the Catholic Question in very different ways, they obviously shared the same objectiveAntonia Fraser brings colour and humour to the dramatic liveliness, with her great cast of characters: George III, who opposed Emancipation, on the basis of the Coronation Oath; her son, the lenient Prince of Wales, who was seduced by the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert before the voluptuous Lady Conyngham; Wellington and the birth of “Tory’ Peel in the running for leadership;’Mad’ Lord Winchilsea; the heroic Daniel O’ConnellaWell written and skilfully argued, The King and the Catholics is also a distant mirror of our time, reflecting the political issues arising from religious intolerance
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