The Literature of Struggle (The Nineteenth Century Series)
- An Anthology of Chartist Fiction
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.
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