Speaking for the People: Party, Language and Popular Politics in England, 1867-1914

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Speaking for the People examines the popular appeal of Liberal, Tory and Labour politics between 1867 and 1914. The main theme of the book is a recognition, and exploration, of the problematic relationship between political parties and the people they sought to represent. The book challenges traditional ideas about the 'triumph of party' after 1867, suggesting that politics remained much more fluid and unpredictable than historians have often allowed. It is this, the book suggests, which explains why politicians from most parties, including Labour, remained highly ambivalent about the likely consequences of further democratisation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lawrence's book is a work of exceptional clarity and penetration resting on a solid core of evidence.... Speaking for the People is accessible and thought-provoking, and as such can be confidently recommended to upper-division undergraduates and above." Choice

"Unlike many deconstructionist monographs, this book is readable and jargon-free." Don M. Cregier, Canadian Journal of History

"Jon Lawrence's richly historiographic study of popular politics in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras casts fresh light on the nature of popular politics in this transitional era of British politics." Derek W. Blakely, Albion

"a fine study which will help to shape a growing debate about popular politics" Victorian Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521470346
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/14/1998
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables
Introduction 1
Pt. I Rethinking popular politics
1 From the rise of 'demos' to the 'rise of class' 11
2 Working-class homogeneity reconsidered 26
3 Relocating popular politics 41
Pt. II A local study: Wolverhampton, c. 1860-1914
4 Liberal hegemony and its critics 73
5 Popular Toryism and the origins of Labour politics 99
6 Labour and the working class, 1890-1914 128
Pt. III Party games, 1885-1914
7 Popular politics and the limitations of party 163
8 The fall and rise of popular Liberalism, 1886-1906 194
9 Labour roots, Labour voices, Labour myths 227
Conclusion 264
Bibliography 268
Index 276
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