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This is the first collection of essays on Chartism by leading social historian Dorothy Thompson, whose work radically transformed the way in which Chartism is understood. Reclaiming Chartism as a fully-blown working-class movement, Thompson intertwines her penetrating analyses of class with ground-breaking research uncovering the role played by women in the movement.

Throughout her essays, Thompson strikes a delicate balance between down-to-the-ground accounts of local uprisings, snappy portraits of high-profile Chartist figures as well as rank-and-file men and women, and more theoretical, polemical interventions.

Of particular historical and political significance is the previously unpublished substantial essay co-authored by Dorothy and Edward Thompson, a superb piece of local historical research by two social historians then on the brink of notable careers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781688496
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 06/09/2015
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dorothy Thompson (1923–2011) was a social historian, a leading expert on the Chartist movement, including the classic The Chartists.

Stephen Roberts is an historian of Victorian Britain, with a particular interest in Chartism. He has written or edited a number of well-known books on this subject. He was taught, as both an undergraduate and postgraduate, by Dorothy Thompson. He is currently Visiting Research Fellow in Victorian History at Newman University, Birmingham.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Editorial Note xi

Introduction. Rethinking the Chartist Movement: Dorothy Thompson (1923-2011) Stephen Roberts xiii

Part I Interpreting Chartism 7

2 The Languages of Class 13

3 Who Were 'the People' in 1842? 21

4 Women Chartists 43

5 'The Question "What is a Chartist?" Answered': Chartist Tracts 49

6 Chartist Autobiographies 57

Part II A Local Study

7 Chartism in the Industrial Areas 67

8 'The Dignity of Chartism': Halifax as a Chartist Centre (with E. P. Thompson) 73

Part III The Leaders of the People

9 'The Most Well-Loved Man': Feargus O'Connor 129

10 'A Radical until the End of His Days' George Julian Harney 133

11 'The Best-Remembered Chartist' Ernest Jones 139

12 'Two of the Most Influential of Radical Voices' John Fielden Joseph Sturge 141

Part IV Repercussions

13 The Chartists in 1848 151

14 The British State and Chartism 167

15 The Post-Chartist Decades 177

Part V Looking Back

16 Reflections on Marxist Teleology 189

Further Reading 197

Index 199

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