The difficulty of interpretation arises, in the first place, because English parliamentary reformers before 1789 were diverse in their political objectives and commitments and made, therefore, divergent responses to the formidable challenge from across the Channel which admitted no such evasions or compromises as had hitherto formed the substance of English eighteenth-century politics. 2 Secondly, the revolution itself was far from being a 'bloc' and went through more than one social and political metamorphosis in its progression from liberal constitutional reform to the republican extreme of Jacob in 'revolutionary government'. It was not surprising, therefore, that some of its initial sympathizers and supporters in Britain, such as Wordsworth and Mackintosh, became its latter-day opponents. Nor have historians paid sufficient attention to the political effects of the nation-wide celebrations of the centenary of the English revolution of 1688. Owing to the illness of George III, these celebrations had to be muted and postponed, with the result that in 1788 they were overshadowed by Whig preoccupation with the Regency issue and in 1789 by the outbreak of the French revolution. Yet it was this centenary that first dissipated the public apathy on the question of parliamentary reform which had followed the defeat of Pitt's proposals in 1785, rather than the French revo-

2. G. S. Veitch, The Genesis of Parliamentary Reform (London, 1965 reprint), p. x.