The author of this vivid and valuable collection of reports from inside besieged Paris in the Franco-Prussian War was the colourful Victorian and Edwardian journalist, entrepreneur and politician Henry Labouchère (1831-1912). ‘Labby’ as he was known, had a triple career as a Liberal MP, a muck-raking editor and the owner of a London theatre which showcased his actress mistress Henrietta Hudson as its star. During a break in his political career (caused by his ungrateful electors voting him out) ‘Labby’ covered the Siege of Paris as correspondent for the Daily News. His eye-witness descriptions of the city and the privations of its starving inhabitants are among the best-known reports of an early war correspondent. After his return to Parliament, Labby authored a Parliamentary amendment outlawing male homosexuality – under which Oscar Wilde was jailed.
DIARY OF THE BESIEGED RESIDENT IN PARIS
A vivid example of an early war correspondent’s despatches, Henry Labouchère’s reports from inside besieged Paris in 1870-1 are justly famous. ‘Labby’ life was as colourful as his prose – combining the triple careers of muck-raking editor, theatre manager and radical MP.