Literature of Struggle: An Anthology of Chartist Fiction

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Chartism inspired a prodigious literary output, based on its own newspapers and journals. However, while some Chartist political writings have been reprinted, the aesthetic texts of the movement have largely been neglected. This selection of short stories and extracts from longer fiction aims to remedy this situation and covers a diversity of authors, genres and themes. Ian Haywood has written a cogent and wide-ranging review of the Chartist movement and its literature as an introduction to this collection of little-known and revealing stories. The fiction is divided into the following areas: the condition of England, Ireland, revolution, women and Chartism itself.
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Editorial Reviews

Developed in the face of repressive anti-poor laws and persecution, the British working class Chartist movement combined Paineite political rights with the belief that industriousness, not property, conferred value on the individual. This anthology contains some 25 of these vital, accessible, and didactic works of Chartist fiction in their entirety. Distributed by Ashgate. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859280324
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/1/1995
  • Series: Nineteenth Century Series
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Condition of England
Will Harper: A Poor-Law Tale (1838) 26
The Widow and the Fatherless (1838) 33
The Convict (1839) 38
A Simple Story (1840) 41
Seth Thompson, the Stockinger (1845) 46
"Merrie England" - No More! (1845) 53
2 Ireland
The Defender: An Irish Tale of 1797 (1840) 60
The Rebel Chief: A Scene in the Wicklow Mountains, 1803 (1840) 78
The Desmonds: A Tale of Landlordism in Ireland (1845) 93
The Meal-Mongers: Or, Food Riots in Ireland (1848) 98
3 Revolution
From Dissuasive Warnings to the People on Street Warfare (1839) 106
The Revolutionist (1840) 131
The Insurgent Leader (1840) 141
The Maid of Warsaw, from The Romance of a People (1847) 142
Nationalism, from The Romance of a People (1847) 144
'A Midnight Rising', from De Brassier: A Democratic Romance (1851-52) 148
4 Women
The Outcast (1839) 158
The Free-Servant (1839) 162
The Young Seamstress (1847) 165
The Slave of the Needle (1850) 170
5 Chartism
The Poor Man's Wrongs (1839) 186
The Charter and the Land (1847) 191
The London Doorstep (1848) 195
'The Convention', from De Brassier: A Democratic Romance (1851-52) 198
Notes 204
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