chapter  VII
Pages 12

THE first number of The Political Register appeared on January r6th, r8oz, before the Peace of Amiens had been ratified, and while the discussions concerning it were still at their height. The last appeared in r838, more than two years after Cobbett's death, an intermittent attempt by his sons to carry it on having failed. During the thirty-three years between r8o2 and 1835, when Cobbett died, the paper appeared regularly, with only one short interval in r8r7. while Cobbett was on his way to America and settling down there out of reach of the repressive policy which followed the Peace of r8rs. For the whole of this long term of years, Cobbett wrote voluminously, contributing a considerable section of every number, and issuing through the Register many of his works which subsequently appeared in book form. From first to last the whole policy of the paper was under his exclusive personal direction. It was Cobbett undiluted, and it was bought above all as the expression of his personality and his views. These changed, indeed; but from the first number the Register possessed, what so many papers lack and what is the surest key to journalistic success, the clear impression of a personality. Cobbett talked rather than wrote to his readers: his articles had always the vividness of a personal conversation. This was true even in the early days, when the Register was appealing to a narrow and largely governingclass audience : it became doubly true when at last Cobbett found himself and began to talk straight to the common people.