/joohn"yeuhs/, n.
1. the pen name of the unknown author of a series of letters published in a London newspaper (1769-72), attacking the British king and his ministers' abuse of royal prerogative in denying John Wilkes his seat in Parliament.
2. Franciscus, 1589-1677, English philologist, born in Germany.

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(as used in expressions)
Decimus Junius Juvenalis
Brutus Marcus Junius
Jayewardene Junius Richard

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▪ English author
 the pseudonym of the still unidentified author of a series of letters contributed to Henry Sampson Woodfall's Public Advertiser, a popular English newspaper of the day, between Jan. 21, 1769, and Jan. 21, 1772. Junius' aims were to discredit the ministries of the Duke of Grafton and subsequently of Lord North and to draw attention to the political influence of George III, who was trying to establish his own “personal government” by selecting his ministers from a group of subservient friends. Junius used ferocious sarcasm in attacking the public and private lives of Grafton and his associates, the Duke of Bedford, the Earl of Bute, and Lord Mansfield. Finally, in his 35th letter, he attacked King George himself, causing a storm of indignation and prompting the government in 1770 to (unsuccessfully) prosecute Woodfall for seditious libel for having printed the letter.

      Junius' views were those of a radical Whig and an ardent supporter of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who had been succeeded in office by Grafton in 1768. But Junius failed in his aims, for the ineffectual Grafton's fall in 1770 merely signaled the advent of Lord North's ministry.

      Apart from their significance as a literary controversy and their importance in the history of the freedom of the press, Junius' letters are notable for their style and the unsolved mystery of their authorship. They display little stylistic variety, and their tone hardly ever changes from that of sustained personal invective and of bitter, merciless sarcasm, but the writing has a fine boldness and liveliness, an urgency and blunt eloquence that still arrest the reader. Many attempts to discover Junius' identity have been made, including claims for Sir Philip Francis, the chief candidate; William Petty-Fitzmaurice, 2nd Earl of Shelburne (later 1st Marquess of Lansdowne); and Laughlin Macleane, who was Shelburne's undersecretary. Some 45 other candidates have been proposed less convincingly. Francesco Cordasco's Junius Bibliography (1949, with supplements in 1953 and 1957) lists more than 500 articles, bibliographies, and editions concerning Junius.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Junĭus [1] — Junĭus, der sechste Monat des Jahres von 30 Tagen, benennt nach Ein. nach den Juniores (s.d. 1), nach And. nach Juno od. nach L. Junius Brutus, dem ersten römischen Consul. Karl der Große nannte ihn Brachmonat …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Junius [1] — Junius, der 4. Monat des altröm. Kalenders, der 6. des späteren, entweder nach der Göttin Juno oder dem ersten Consul Junius Brutus genannt …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Junius — masc. proper name, from L. Junius, name of a Roman gens. The pseudonym of the author of a famous series of letters in the Public Advertiser from 1768 1772 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Junius — Junius, in England erschienen vom 21. Juni 1769 bis zum 21. Januar 1771 im Public advertiser, einer vom Buchdrucker Woodfall herausgegebenen Zeitung, Briefe unter dem Pseudonamen Letters of J. (Briefe des J.), welche Minister, Staatsbeamte,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Junĭus [2] — Junĭus. Die Junia gens war sowohl a) ein patricisches Geschlecht, zu welchem die Familie Brutus (s.d.) gehörte, als auch b) ein plebejisches, zu welchem die Familien: Aquilinus, Bassus, Bläsus, Brutus, Bubulcus, Callaicus Donatus, Gallio, Lupus,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Junĭus [3] — Junĭus, 1) Adrian (eigentlich Hadriande Jonghe), geb. 1512 zu Horn in Holland, Arzt u. Philolog, wurde in England Leibarzt des Herzogs von Norfolk. Nach Holland zurückgekehrt, erhielt er einen Ruf nach Kopenhagen als Erzieher des Kronprinzen, von …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Junĭus — Junĭus, Name zweier römischer Geschlechter, deren älteres ein Patriziergeschlecht war. Ihm gehörte der erste Konsul Roms an, Lucius J. Brutus (s. Brutus 1), mit dessen Söhnen Titus und Tiberius, die er selbst hinrichten ließ, das Geschlecht… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Junius — Junĭus, Monat, s. Juni …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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