Hone, William, 1780-1842Alternative names
English publisher and antiquary.
From the description of Autograph letter signed : [London], to William Howitt, 1826 Feb. 5-1826 Feb. 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269527023
From the description of Autograph letter signed : Ludgate Hill, 1824 Jan. 9. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269530121
From the description of Autograph letter signed : Islington, to Walter Wilson, 1829 Sept. 21. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269526852
From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to Joseph Hone, 1832 June 22. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269528946
Hone, a writer and bookseller, was charged and sent to trial on 3 counts stemming from his political and religiousp parodies. He was acquitted of all charges.
From the description of Papers : relating to the trials of William Hone, 1817-1818. (Bryn Mawr College). WorldCat record id: 28838119
English writer, publisher and bookseller associated with the Radical Press movement.
From the description of The William Hone manuscript collection, 1792-1953, bulk 1815-1842. (Adelphi University). WorldCat record id: 40865024
William Hone, a radical publisher, was made famous by the blasphemy trials of 1817 at which he was acquited. He often worked with the caricaturist, George Cruikshank, with whom he collaborated in a campaign to improve the condition of lunatic asylums. Hone began publishing the Reformists Register in 1817 and published parodies, which prompted his trial. Later in his life, he became an antiquarian publisher. Hone died in 1842.
From the guide to the A Slap at Sop: satirical pamphlet, 1821, (Senate House Library, University of London)
Hone, a mildly radical London reformer, writer, and publisher, exonerated in a famous blasphemy trial in 1817, turned in later years to scholarly and antiquarian interests. In 1825 he wrote and published the popular Everyday Book.
From the description of Letter to J. Drake, Jr., concerning a transcript of part of Holinshed's Chronicles, March 7, 1825. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 772544075
Writer and bookseller; best known for his three trials stemming from his political and religious parodies.
From the description of Letter : Ludgate Hill, to Vincent Novello, Bedford Square, 1820 Dec. 8. (Bryn Mawr College). WorldCat record id: 28838097
Author and editor, London, England.
From the description of Letters, 1823-1833. (Washington State University). WorldCat record id: 29852440
From the description of Papers, 1816-1842. (Washington State University). WorldCat record id: 29853416
William Hone was born June 3, 1780, in Bath, England, the son of William and Frances Maria Stawell Hone. At the age of twenty he married Miss Sarah Johnson, started a family which was to include ten children, and opened a small circulating library, stationery and book store in Lambeth Walk. Rather than paying attention to his growing family and failing business, Hone became involved in the radical politics of the era. His humanitarian upbringing clashed with the repressiveness of the government and in about 1810 his radicalism found vent in publication. Pamphlets and broadsides streamed out under his imprint, many anonymously; Hone wrote many of them but he published even more. In 1817 he was tried three times for blasphemy because he had published satires on the government which were parodies of the catechism, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the church litany and the Athanasian Creed. Hone’s successful defense at each of the three trials was based on his research and explication of the history of parody as a literary form. The blasphemy charge was, of course, a cover for the damage he had inflicted on the government though the excellence of his satires.
Resolving to develop his researches into a major work on parody, Hone slowly turned from political activism to antiquarianism. Although his projected parodic history was never completed- he had to sell his reference library during his third or fourth bankruptcy- his research culminated in the publication of the Every-Day Book .
The Every-Day Book was part almanac, part anthology, and part literary weekly. It was published in weekly numbers, cumulated monthly and then annually with an extensive index. Hone published the Every-Day Book in 1825 and 1826, continued it with the Table Book in 1827, and then, after a break of five years began again with the Year Book . The Every-Day Book, under all its titles, was a magnificent production full of curious facts, anecdotes, bits of historical interest and excellent engravings. This work brought Hone into contact with a new world of authors, poets, engravers, illustrators, and antiquarians of all sorts. For, after initiating the publication, Hone became more editor than author as persons all over Great Britain began submitting contributions.
Unfortunately, even the great popular success of the Every-Day Book failed to deter Hone’s ineptness in fiscal matters and, in fact, large portions were completely edited by Hone while technically confined to debtor’s prison. Following his release, his friends had installed him as keeper of a coffee house in the hopes that it would rescue his always declining fortunes. Unfortunately this did not remedy his financial problems.
On New Year’s Day of 1832, Hone suffered a religious conversion which caused him to retract many of his earlier radical stands, and by 1835 he was sub-editor of a religious newspaper. By June of 1840 his deteriorating health caused him to retire from all of his activities and in November of 1842 he died at the age of sixty-two.
The Every-Day Book lived on, however, as the publisher continued to reprint the four volume work, once in monthly parts again, several times before the turn of the century. His papers and personal library were passed down from mother to daughter to grand-daughter until they came into the possession of George T. Lawley.
George T. Lawley
George Lawley was an antiquarian bookdealer in Wolverhampton who was the author of a history of Bilston, County of Stafford (1868, revised 1893) and a bibliography of Wolverhampton (1890). He apparently received the books and papers from Mrs. Joseph S. Soul, Hone’s grand-daughter after 1900.
Lawley’s ownership had several important consequences for the Hone papers. First, he made them available to "his old friend" Frederick William Hackwood, author of Hone’s biography ( William Hone, his life and times, by Frederick Wm. Hackwood. London: 1912. This was reprinted by Burt Franklin, New York, in the 1970s as #143 in the Burt Franklin Research and Source Works Series and as #4 in the Selected Essays in History and Social Science Series . See Hackwood’s acknowledgement of Lawley"s assistance, page 6.) Second, he subsequently attempted to enlarge upon Hackwood’s treatment of Hone’s literary efforts using the correspondence in his possession as the major source. This resulted in a manuscript entitled: The purely literary productions and correspondence of William Hone and his friends. With an account of the origin and production of his Every-Day Book, Year Book and Table Book from manuscripts and letters in the possession of the author.
Thirdly, he attempted to extra-illustrate Hone’s works with the relevant letters in his possession. The four volumes of the Every-Day Book were rebound with blank pages inserted and stubs to which the letters could be attached. Many of the letters, however, appear to have been previously attached and it may have been that Hone’s family had started this practice. At any event, by 1927 when the volumes were acquired by Washington State University Library someone had begun to remove the letters from the books. The present processing continued that process to minimize the damage to the severely folded letters.
Lawley had also begun a draft account of the origin of the Every-Day Book into the bound-in blank pages. He noted: "These additions make the set as valuable as it is unique." It is impossible to determine if he realized that value or not, but by 1927 the four volumes were sold to Washington State University for $65.
Along with the four volumes of the Every-Day Book, several other works once part of Hone’s library were acquired by the Washington State University Library, each with Lawley’s note identifying the volume as once belonging to Hone. These seven Hone publications are: Hone’s Apocryphal New Testament (1820), A Slap at Slop (1819), The Appearance of an Apparition to James Sympson (1816), The Political Showman - At Home! (1821), and Robert Southey 's Wat Tyler (published by Hone in 1817) which are in Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections; and V. Knox' s The Spirit of Despotism (3rd ed., published by Hone in 1821) which was found to be missing from the Humanities Library. Retained with the papers is his Dropt Clauses out of the Bill, against the Queen (ca. 1819).
From the guide to the William Hone Papers, 1816-1842, (Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Publishers and publishing--Archives|
|Literary forms and genres|
|Caricatures and cartoons|
|Press and politics|
|Political satire, English|
|Booksellers and bookselling|
|Authors, English--19th century--Correspondence|
|Private libraries--19th century|
|Authors, English--19th century--Correspondence|