Four new books explore themes relating to
Chartism, its background and legacy
1820. Disorder and stability in the United Kingdom
Integrating in detail the experiences of both Britain and Ireland, Malcolm Chase provides a compelling narrative and analysis of the United Kingdom in a year of European revolution. It charts the events and forces that tested the government almost to its limits, and the processes and mechanisms through which order was maintained. 1820 is about much more than a single year. Locating the Queen Caroline divorce crisis within a broader analysis of the challenges confronting the government, Chase places that much-investigated episode in a new light. It illuminates both the pivotal Tory Ministry under Lord Liverpool and the Whigs who opposed it. It is also a major contribution to our understanding of popular radicalism and its political containment.
Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-9746-1. Paperback. April.
The Chartists: Perspectives and Legacies
In this book Malcolm Chase explores some of the main channels and by-ways in the history of Chartism – both in the UK and the wider world – it considers: The place of Chartism within the wider framework of Victorian politics; The Chartist Land Plan; The impact of Canada’s 1837-8 rebellions on Chartism; Chartism’s endurance in Wales beyond the 1839 Rising; The role of children in Chartist campaigning; Key questions in Chartist historiography; Chartism’s impact on the mid-Victorian ethos of ‘self-help’, and on the workings of parliamentary democracy. This collection, firmly located within Britain’s tradition of writing ‘history from below’, offers an unusually wide variety of stimulating perspectives on key issues in the history of what, effectively, was Britain’s civil rights movement. It is written in an open, accessible style.
Merlin Press. ISBN. 978-0-85036-625-9. Paperback. June.
The Dignity of Chartism
Studies of Britain’s first major working-class movement by Dorothy Thompson, edited by Stephen Roberts.
George Julian Harney: The Chartists Were Right.
Selections from the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle Column, 1890-97
George Julian Harney was one of the half-dozen most important leaders of Chartism. This selection by David Goodway from the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle is the first book to reprint any of his journalism. Harney is a key figure in the history of English radicalism. His long life witnessed the Chartist movement from 1830s through to the beginnings of socialism from the 1880s. He wrote about literature, foreign affairs and politics. In his youth Harney was an admirer of the most radical figures of the French Revolution. The youngest member of the first Chartist Convention, he was an advocate of physical-force Chartism in 1838-9. His interest to historians has tended to be as the friend of Marx and Engels, the publisher of the first English translation of the Communist Manifesto and leader, with Ernest Jones, of the Chartist left in the early 1850s. Yet his finest period had been 1843-50, when he worked on the Northern Star. He lived till 1897 was producing a weekly column for the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle edited by W.E. Adams, another old Chartist and his younger admirer. The column was superbly written, politically challenging, and vigorously polymathic.
Merlin Press. ISBN. 978-0-85036-717-1. Paperback. Summer.