Concept

The Oracle of Reason

Résumé
The Oracle of Reason, or Philosophy Vindicated was the first avowedly atheistic periodical to be published in Britain. It was founded by Charles Southwell, William Chilton and John Field in 1841, and lasted until 1843. Several of its editors were imprisoned for blasphemy. History The Oracle owed its origins to a split in Robert Owen's Universal Community Society. For the early background, see Charles Southwell. The first issue of the weekly Oracle was published on 6 November 1841 (price: 1d), and the last issue was dated 2 December 1843. It was published 6 November 1841 to 8 January 1842, then there was a gap before publication resumed from 12 February 1842 to 2 December 1843. According to Royle (1974, p. 74), it was "at first highly successful, selling on average about four thousand copies a week." The first editor of the Oracle was Charles Southwell. George Jacob Holyoake took over when Southwell was imprisoned, and when Holyoake was imprisoned Thomas Paterson beca
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