The Literature of Struggle: An Anthology of Chartist Fiction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Literature of Struggle

An Anthology of Chartist Fiction, 1st Edition

Edited by Ian Haywood


224 pages

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At its height, during the 1830s and 40s, Chartism inspired a prodigious literary output, based on its own newspapers and journals. While some Chartist political writings have been reprinted, the fiction of the movement has been largely neglected. Chartist stories represent a unique moment in literary history, when the radical political energies of a mass movement were fused with popular narrative forms. The result was a vital, accessible and popular fiction, informed by an awareness that Chartism had to forge its own brand of fiction in order to challenge the prevailing cultural misrepresentation of the working class and radical politics. This anthology is organised chronologically and includes a wide range of authors and genres, with complete poems and short stories as well as extracts from novels and other full-length works of fiction. The stories are divided into five areas which relect the range, scope and achievement of Chartism's intellectual and political imagination: the condition of England; Ireland; revolution; women and Chartism. The complete collection is set in an analytical framework and has a long historical introduction by the editor.


'a publishing event of no small cultural and critical significance…a brave and highly commendable publishing venture…libraries both here in Scandinavia and elsewhere should not fail to subscribe to this unique and important series of historical reprints.' Ronald Paul, Moderna SprÃ¥k, No.2

Table of Contents

Contents: The Condition of England: Will Harper: A Poor Law Tale; The Widow and the Fatherless; The Convict; A Simple Story; Seth Thompson, the Stockinger; Merrie England: No More!; Ireland: The Defender: An Irish Tale of 1797; The Rebel Chief: A Scene in the Wicklow Mountains, 1803; The Desmonds: A Tale of Landlordism in Ireland; The Meal-Mongers: or, Food Riots in Ireland; Revolution: from Dissuasive Warnings to the People on Street Warfare; The Revolutionist; The Insurgent Leader; ’The Maid from Warsaw’ from The Romance of a People; ’Nationalism’ from The Romance of a People; A Midnight Rising from De Brassier: A Democratic Romance; Women: The Outcast; W J Linton, The Free Servant; The Young Seamstress; The Slave of the Needle; Chartism: Mary Hutton, The Poor Man's Wrongs; The Charter and the Land; The London Doorstep; ’The Convention’ from De Brassier: A Democratic Romance; Index.

About the Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series,  the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global.  Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies.  The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General