Radical Expression: Political Language, Ritual, and Symbol in England, 1790-1850 / Edition 1

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Overview


Radical Expression explores a set of related themes dealing with popular radical language, ideology and communication in England and reexamines the rhetoric of popular constitutionalism and the associated repertoire of constitutionalist mobilization. Despite the impulses of the French revolution, popular constitutionalism remained the dominant idiom within which radicals framed their democratic demands. The constitutionalist idiom was a "shared" cultural inheritance, a "master fiction" defining England's place in the universe of nations. It was for this reason that radicals struggled to appropriate its language, to give their own accent to its central terms and to tell the "real" story of the nation's constitutional past. This study also places particular emphasis on the symbolic and ritual elements within popular radicalism, including chapters on the dense web of meanings associated with the cap of liberty and the rituals of radical commemoration, toasting and dining. As a counterpoint to the volume's emphasis on constitutionalist modes of argumentation and mobilization, the book also includes a sustained consideration of the language, culture and style of plebeian rationalism.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is an important new study in a much controverted subject: working-class history...Everyone interested in popular radicalism from the French Revolution to Chartism must read this book."--Historian

"The book's many insights make it essential reading not simply for historians of Britain but for all scholars grappling with the task of comprehending culture as a set of practices as well as artifacts and texts."--Journal of Modern History

"Radical Expression provides British historians with a much needed study of the ideas and symbols that underpin nineteenth-century radicalism and help explain its development....an important analysis of a topic which has received too little attention."--Journal of Social History

"...[a] clearly written, richly textured series..."--Journal of British Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195065503
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The Constitutionalist Idiom 3
2 Narrating Liberty's Defense: T. J. Wooler and the Law 29
3 Understanding the Cap of Liberty: Symbolic Practice and Social Conflict in Early-Nineteenth-Century England 70
4 Reason's Republic: Richard Carlile, Zetetic Culture, and Infidel Stylistics 100
5 Rituals of Solidarity: Radical Dining, Toasting, and Symbolic Expression 147
Notes 167
Index 225
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