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Broadside entitled 'A Curious and Diverting Dialogue'


This broadside begins: 'A CURIOUS AND DIVERTING DIALOGUE, That took place betwixt two Irishmen in the Cowgate, last night, about the Dinner to be given to EARL GREY on Monday first.' The Publisher was John Neil. The date and place of publication are not supplied.

Although this broadside is not dated, its contents suggest that it was published shortly after the passing of the Parliamentary Reform Act in 1832. Earl Grey (1764-1845) was the Prime Minister responsible for the Act, which extended the right to vote to one in seven adult males. This imagined dialogue depicts two Irishmen confusing the Reform issue with another significant political movement of the time, the campaign for Irish Home Rule, and ends up with them comparing Grey unfavourably with Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), the Home Rule campaigner. The broadside is intended as an anti-Irish satire.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable date published: 1832   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(259)
Broadside entitled 'A Curious and Diverting Dialogue'
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