Published in 1820, The Men in the Moon was a politically loyalist pamphlet that aimed to undermine the radicals who were demanding political reform. In opposition to radicals, loyalists unequivocally supported the King, Church and Tory government. Leading radical figures – including Henry Hunt, who led speeches on the day of the Peterloo Massacre in August 1819 – are depicted as 'Agents of Satan' and poet Lord George Gordon Byron, whose opinions and writings were associated with radicalism, appears as 'Lord of the Faithless'.
Its illustrator, George Cruikshank, produced illustrations for both loyalist and radical publications during this period.
- Article by:
- Ruth Mather
- Power and politics, Romanticism
In August 1819 dozens of peaceful protestors were killed and hundreds injured at what became known as the Peterloo Massacre. Ruth Mather examines the origins, response and aftermath of this key early 19th century political event.