[Richard Carlile writes from Dorchester Gaol following his conviction for blasphemous libel.] Original number of Carlile's 'The Republican', as issued from press in original blue covers, containing various pieces relating to his imprisonment.

Richard Carlile (1790-1843), publisher and writer, leader of the Rotunda Radicals, disciple of Tom Paine, lover of Elizabeth Sharples (1803-1852), suffragist
Publication details: 
[The Republican, London.] 18 January 1822. No. 3. Vol. V. Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 55, Fleet Street.
SKU: 22780

A nice artefact, a number of Carlile's celebrated radical journal 'The Republican' (espousing not only republicanism but also atheism, abolitionism and birth control) as it appeared from the press. For information on Carlile - described by E. P. Thompson as a 'Showman of Free Thought' - and his 'moral wife' the suffragist Eliza Sharples, see their entries in the Oxford DNB. For publishing various 'blasphemous' works by Thomas Paine, Carlile was fined £1500 and sentenced to three years in Dorchester Gaol. He refused to pay the fine, and his premises in Fleet Street were raided and his stock confiscated. While in prison he continued to write articles for The Republican which, published by his wife Jane, is said to have outsold pro-government newspapers such as The Times as a result of the publicity. [32]pp, 8vo, paginated 65-96, in original plain blue side-stitched wraps, uncut edges. Internally in fair condition, on lightly aged and worn paper, in worn and chipped wraps. No full title. Drophead title, p.65: 'The Republican. | No. 3. Vol. V.] London, Friday, Jan. 18, 1822. [Price 6d.' At foot of p.65: 'Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 55, Fleet Street.' Slug, at foot of p.96, reads: 'Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 55, Fleet Street, where all Communications (post paid) are requested to be addressed. - Orders, with remittances, or references for payments, will be punctually attended to. Country Agents will find the most liberal Terms for prompt Payment.' In pencil at head of p.65, in contemporary hand: 'from Carlisle [sic] in Jail'. Pp.65-71: R. Carlile 'To the Republicans of the Island of Great Britain' (letter dated from 'Dorchester Gaol, Jan. 14, | Year 3, of the Spanish Revolution.'); pp.71-79: anon, 'Reflections Moral and Political' ('To be continued'); pp.79-83, J. Affleck, 'To Mr. R. Carlile, Dorchester Gaol' (letter dated 'Edinburgh, Dec. 12, 1821'); pp.83-85, R. Carlile, 'To Mr. James Affleck, Edinburgh' (letter dated 'Dorchester Gaol, Jan. 5th, 1822'); p.85: William Skinner, 'An Acrostic on Richard Carlile' (poem dated 'Edinburgh, Dec. 8'); pp.86-88: Amariah Batty, 'Renunciation of the Christian Mythology' (letter dated 'Castleton, Jan. 1, 1822'); pp.88-96: R. Carlile, 'To the Christian Judge Bailey' (letter dated 'Dorchester Gaol, Jan. 7, 1822'). The first item attacks Cobbett, and features the following representative passage: 'I detest and abhor the slave trade, and view the master as equally degraded with his slave. I am not one of those who think the white man a superior being to the negro. From all that I have read and witnessed, I infer that the inhabitants of Africa have mental capacities equal to the inhabitants of Asia, Europe, or America. There are shades of difference among the inhabitants of each quarter of the globe; but St. Domingo is a case in point that the negroes are a race capable of mental cultivation. Viewing man, as I do, to be nothing more than an animal, existing upon the same principle as every other animal does, and to perish by death as every other animal does, it cannot for a moment be imagined that I am an advocate for any kind of animal slavery. [...] If it ever becomes my lot to be thrown upon the hospitality of the inhabitants of the United States, I promise to attack their traffic in slaves, and two or three other failings in their character as Republicans, with all the power I may possess. I am astonished to think that there is now no writer in America to follow in the steps of Paine and Palmer, and to go on to beat down the horrid idolatry and fanaticism which exists there.' Accompanied by Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner's article 'Richard Carlile: A Stalwart of Liberty', on loose leaves extracted from a magazine, paginated 53-60.