The Working-Class Intellectual in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain

1st Edition

Aruna Krishnamurthy

Routledge
Published November 11, 2016
Reference - 268 Pages
ISBN 9781138261938 - CAT# Y314126

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Summary

In Britain, the period that stretches from the middle of the eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century marks the emergence of the working classes, alongside and in response to the development of the middle-class public sphere. This collection contributes to that scholarship by exploring the figure of the "working-class intellectual," who both assimilates the anti-authoritarian lexicon of the middle classes to create a new political and cultural identity, and revolutionizes it with the subversive energy of class hostility. Through considering a broad range of writings across key moments of working-class self-expression, the essays reevaluate a host of familiar writers such as Robert Burns, John Thelwall, Charles Dickens, Charles Kingsley, Ann Yearsley, and even Shakespeare, in terms of their role within a working-class constituency. The collection also breaks fresh ground in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scholarship by shedding light on a number of unfamiliar and underrepresented figures, such as Alexander Somerville, Michael Faraday, and the singer Ned Corvan.

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