Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Agents of Reason," by John Issitt

Today we present a fine historical work that reads like a fast-paced fictional novel. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, England clamps down on its radicals, putting Jeremiah Joyce in jeopardy as he fights for the cause of freedom. This book's price is reduced today to 99 cents!

"I've just read "Agents of Reason" by John Issitt, and I found it fabulous. The book is set in the 1790s in the period immediately after the French Revolution, and describes the sense of terror amongst the establishment in England that something similar could happen in England unless those calling for constitutional reforms are suppressed. As such, the prime minister William Pitt, took immediate action to deal with radicals, such as the central character in this book, Jeremiah Joyce. The book in written as a novel, but is a careful reconstruction in novel form of real characters and real events. The book highlights a number of thought-provoking political and moral issues that radicals souught to address, and how the establishment moved to curtail their influence." -- Amazon reviewer

Agents of Reason, by John Issitt

Jeremiah was a London radical. He and his associates gave themselves to the cause - a cause that was always dangerous and compromised. This is his story. Whilst his efforts received no dividend in his lifetime today we are in his debt -we enjoy the freedoms for which he risked his life.

When the Bastille fell in 1789 English radicals like Jeremiah saw the promise of freedom but by early 1793 the French Revolution had turned into madness as Robespierre and the guillotine produced a blood bath of self destruction. In England the fear that the revolution might spread across the channel provoked reactionary responses and the years of William Pitt’s terror began. Radicals were hunted down. Some found themselves in Botany Bay, others charged with sedition or treason, languished in Newgate and the Tower.


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Meet the Author

I am a writer and work part time as Provost of Langwith College, University of York, UK where I lecture in the philosophy of learning. I have taught for the Open University for 23 years and am a National Teaching Fellow. Along the way I have taught in prisons, schools, colleges and several universities.

My writing is classified as 'historical fiction' and is concerned with the late eighteenth century. Working from archives I try to serve up complex ideas and historical events in a way that is human and accessible. I am particularly interested in the less famous historical actors and silences in the records where something important has been edited or overlooked for whatever reason. *Agents of Reason* concerns the actions of political radicals in London following the French Revolution. My next book is called ‘Tom and Edmund’ and is focused on the ideas and legacies of the two friends, then enemies, Tom Paine and Edmund Burke.

I am an obsessed but poor windsurfer - a passion I discovered late in life. Actually I rather enjoy being not very good - there is so much more to learn and nearly every experience is a major one.


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