First published in 1978, this study considers the impact of dissenting voices upon literature, religion and politics in order to reassess the nonconformist contribution to English culture from the eighteenth century through to the twentieth.
This historical survey takes into the account the contribution of a wealth of seminal literary figures such as the poets Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley and William Blake; and the novelists Elizabeth Gaskell, George Elliot, Mark Rutherford and D. H. Lawrence. However, far from consigning his study merely to literature, Davie also includes important orators like Robert Hall; scientists like Michael Farraday and Philip Gosse; political activists like Joseph Priestly, and soldiers like Orde Wingate. Unitarians, Sandemanians, Wesleyan Methodists and the Plymouth Brethren are considered, as well as the older denominations.
1. The Nonconformist Contribution to English Culture 2. Old Dissent 1700-1740 3. Dissent and the Wesleyans, 1740-1800 4. Dissent and the Evangelicals, 1800-1850 5. Dissent and the Agnostics, 1850-1900 6. Dissent in the Present Century