John Thelwall is best known as the radical orator central to the movement for parliamentary reform in Britain during the 1790s. As such he has an established and increasingly important place in studies of late eighteenth-century radicalism. In addition to his political speeches, however, Thelwall also published four collections of poetry between 1787 and 1801, a major political-philosophical treatise in 1795-6 and after 1802 a number of works dealing with elocution, education, the acquisition of language, the anatomy of the speech organs and finally the link between speech and mental illness.
Sources on Thelwall's life are scarce. His wife published the first volume of a biography after his death, but what we otherwise know about his background is largely derived from the prefaces
Citation: McCann, Andrew. "John Thelwall". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4359, accessed 05 March 2024.]