In 1817 British satirist William Hone was compelled to defend himself in court against a government determined to enforce censorship. It was a show trial, where Hone—a self-educated Fleet Street journalist—had had to contend with the Lord Chief Justice and the Attorney General, in front of a jury hand-picked by the ministry. In this history, Ben Wilson explains how this obscure writer managed to win the support of the public, and change the face of Britain's free press forever.
"This excellent biography is a timely reminder of the astonishing power of the press in the hands of a single free, fearless, and long-since forgotten practitioner."—Daily Telegraph (UK)
"Wonderfully stirring. The tale Wilson has to tell is so exciting, and the bravura with which he recounts it so infectious, that his case becomes irresistible."—Guardian (UK)