Sunday, January 11, 2015

Richard Carlisle

Richard Carlisle, who died a long time ago, was given the name "Devil's Chaplain" by the upper crust. He was fierce in his promotion of radical ideas like Universal Suffrage and a Free Press. His gatherings were sometimes called "Gatherings of Infidels" by the nervous. He'd stand on the dais and agitate for hours in horrible weather on subjects ranging from Queen Mary to the Slave Trade. Indeed there was nothing he didn't know everything about. And I could go on, but in my own small world Richard Carlisle is better known for the joy The Rabbit of Usk - in one of his incarnations - used to take from having dinner with Richard Carlisle.

 While the Rabbit of Usk is a man of many parts his memory of Richard Carlisle primarily revolves around the "price of inks." The Rabbit wanted to see his Travels published, and Richard Carlisle would have published The Rabbit's Travels if The Rabbit had had the resources to buy the ink. And probably quite wise of Richard Carlisle not to invest his own resources in Travels, because even back then Travels was an unappreciated literary form. It lacked "lolcat-factor," it was without any sort of click-bait, and Richard Carlisle knew well enough his vendors would just simply refused to yell "Rambling Prolix" on the streets of London.

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