238 pages | 4 B/W Illus.
First published in 1986, the aim of this book is to present some of the changing thinking on popular writing to a wider audience in view of the enormous growth of mass culture after the war, but also to offer a historical perspective on a specific form of popular fiction: the romance. The essays collected here reflect diverse positions and methods in the current debate: sociological, psychoanalytic and literary. Some focus more on texts or readers, others concentrate on theoretical questions about narrative or ideology. All of the essays, however, view popular forms and their uses historical in historical context — rejecting the notion they are a contaminated by-product of industrialism.
Contributors; 1 Introduction Jean Radford 2 The Greek romance Margaret Williamson 3 The politics of seduction in English popular culture, 1748-1848 Anne Clark 4 How Green Was My Valley: a romance of Wales Derrick Price 5 An inverted romance: The Well of Loneliness and sexual ideology Jean Radford 6 Gone With the Wind: the mammy of them all Helen Taylor 7 Writing fictions: femininity and the 1950s Alison Light 8 Family romances: the contemporary popular family saga Christine Bridgwood 9 Mills & Boon meets feminism Anna Rosalind Jones 10 Write, she said Michele Roberts; Index
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.