Like those of 1790, the publications of the year 1830 signal significant transitions in English culture and society. The end of George IV’s ten-year reign in 1830 left the monarchy at one of its periodic low ebbs. He was succeeded by his brother, William IV (1830–7) who was more sensitive than George had been to the increasing pressure for political reform. Nevertheless it took another two years of frustrating blockages in the House of Lords before the 1832 Reform Bill was passed. In different ways the literature we shall cover in this chapter reflects public impatience with a stagnant political system and an urgent consciousness of the need for change.
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