Routledge Revivals: Poor Labouring Men (1985): Rural Radicalism in Norfolk 1870-1923, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Routledge Revivals: Poor Labouring Men (1985)

Rural Radicalism in Norfolk 1870-1923, 1st Edition

By Alun Howkins


225 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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First published in 1985, this book presents the first detailed account of the relationship between the farmworkers, trades unionism, and political and social radicalism. Rural radicalism, one of the most important new features of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century politics, was particularly strong in Norfolk and as such provides the focus for this study. The author shows the how relationship between ‘master and man’ and ‘man’ and ‘work’ was changing in the period from the 1870s to the 1920s — ending with the great strike of 1923. The main themes are the shifts from religion to politics, from Liberalism to Labour, and in more general terms from local to national consciousness. The book shows men at work and the ways in which politics meshed — or failed to mesh — together. Based on detailed local research and on many hours of recorded interviews, it enables the voice of the labourer to be heard, and a real sense of hope, fear and aspiration to come through.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1 The land and the people 2 Structural conflict and the farmworkers 3 Radicalism, the first phase: The chapel 4 Radicalism, the first phase: The local unions 1872-96 5 Radicalism, the second phase: The second union 6 Radicalism, the second phase: Rural labour and the wages board 1910-21 7 The great betrayal 8 The great strike 9 The long term; Notes; Bibliography; Index

About the Series

Routledge Revivals: History Workshop Series

First published between 1975 and 1991, this set reissues 13 volumes that originally appeared as part of the History Workshop Series. This series of books, which grew out of the journal of the same name, advocated ‘history from below’ and examined numerous, often social, issues from the perspectives of ordinary people. In the words of founder Raphael Samuel, the aim was to turn historical research and writing into ‘a collaborative enterprise’, via public gatherings outside of a traditional academic setting, that could be used to support activism and social justice as well as informing politics.

Some of the topics examined in the set include: mineral workers, rural radicalism, and the lives and occupations of villagers in the nineteenth century; working class association; the development of left-wing workers theatre and the changing attitudes to mass culture across the twentieth century; the changing fortunes of the East End at the turn of the century; the position of women from the nineteenth century to the present; the miners’ strike of 1984-5; the social and political images of late-twentieth century London; and a three volume analysis of the myriad facets of English patriotism. This set will be of interest to students of history, sociology, gender and politics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Social History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Rural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes