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A History of British Working Class Literature

£79.99

John Goodridge, Bridget Keegan, Jennie Batchelor, Jennifer Batt, William J. Christmas, Steve Van-Hagen, Gerard Carruthers, Kerri Andrews, Mary-Ann Constantine, Franca Dellarosa, Jennifer Orr, Scott McEathron, Ian Haywood, Gary Harrison, Kaye Kossick, Mike Sanders, Florence S. Boos, Kirstie Blair, Rod Hermeston, H. Gustav Klaus, Nicola Wilson, Anthony Cartwright, Sharon Ouditt, Jack Windle, Corey Gibson, Lisa Sheppard, Aidan Byrne, Cole Crawford, Brian Maidment
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  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107190405

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  • A History of British Working-Class Literature examines the rich contributions of working-class writers in Great Britain from 1700 to the present. Since the early eighteenth century the phenomenon of working-class writing has been recognised, but almost invariably co-opted in some ultimately distorting manner, whether as examples of 'natural genius'; a Victorian self-improvement ethic; or as an aspect of the heroic workers of nineteenth- and twentieth-century radical culture. The present work contrastingly applies a wide variety of interpretive approaches to this literature. Essays on more familiar topics, such as the 'agrarian idyll' of John Clare, are mixed with entirely new areas in the field like working-class women's 'life-narratives'. This authoritative and comprehensive History explores a wide range of genres such as travel writing, the verse-epistle, the elegy and novels, while covering aspects of Welsh, Scottish, Ulster/Irish culture and transatlantic perspectives.

    • Surveys three centuries of working-class literature, establishing it as a self-conscious tradition in British literature
    • A wide range of writers are discussed, including many who have been only recently recovered, providing a good starting point for those interested in learning more about the field and will also reward those who know the field with additional insights and discoveries
    • Includes contributions from well-regarded established scholars as well as new voices, demonstrating a wide variety of interpretive approaches that can be applied to working-class literature
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A History of British Working Class Literature consists of 25 essays by more than 30 contributors hailing from the US, the UK, and Germany. This reviewer cannot imagine a more comprehensive commentary on this much-neglected topic. … This reviewer recommends every essay in this splendid collection, because singling out some is to implicitly and unfairly devalue others. … This collection is a must read for those interested in politics and literature. … Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.' L. A. Brewer, CHOICE

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107190405
    • length: 496 pages
    • dimensions: 237 x 162 x 34 mm
    • weight: 0.85kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction John Goodridge and Bridget Keegan
    1. When 'Bread depends on her Character': the problem of laboring-class subjectivity in the foundling hospital archive Jennie Batchelor
    2. 'Stirr' d up by Emulation of the famous Mr Duck': laboring-class poetry in the 1730s Jennifer Batt
    3. The Verse Epistle and laboring-class literary sociability from Duck to Burns William J. Christmas
    4. 'But Genius is the special Gift of God!': the reclamation of 'Natural Genius' in the late eighteenth-century verses of Ann Yearsley and James Woodhouse Steve Van-Hagen
    5. Alexander Wilson: the rise and fall and rise of a laboring-class writer Gerard Carruthers
    6. Neither mute nor inglorious: Ann Yearsley and Elegy Kerri Andrews
    7. 'British Bards': the concept of laboring-class poetry in eighteenth-century Wales Mary-Ann Constantine
    8. 'Behold in these Coromantees/the fate of an agonized world': Edward Rushton's transnational radicalism Franca Dellarosa
    9. Transnational Ulster and laboring-class self-fashioning Jennifer Orr
    10. Working-class poetry and the Royal Literary Fund: two case studies in patronage Scott McEathron
    11. The life of William Cobbett: caricature, hauntology and the impossibility of radical life writing in the romantic period Ian Haywood
    12. John Clare's Agrarian Idyll: a confluence of pastoral and Georgic Gary Harrison
    13. 'And aft thy dear Doric aside I hae flung, to busk oot my sang wi' the prood Southron tongue': the Antiphonal Muse in Janet Hamilton's poetics Kaye Kossick
    14. 'The guilty game of human subjugation': religion as ideology in Thomas Cooper's The Purgatory of Suicides Mike Sanders
    15. At the margins of print: life-narratives of Victorian working-class women Florence S. Boos
    16. The newspaper press and the Victorian working-class poet Kirstie Blair
    17. Tensions, transformations and local identity: the evolving meanings of nineteenth-century Tyneside dialect songs Rod Hermeston
    18. On the road: all manner of tramps in English and Scottish writing from the 1880s to the 1920s H. Gustav Klaus
    19. Ethel Carnie Holdsworth: genre, serial fiction and popular reading patterns Nicola Wilson
    20. 'The young men of the nation': Alexander Baron and urban working-class masculinity Anthony Cartwright
    21. Kathleen Dayus: the girl from Hockley Sharon Ouditt
    22. 'It have a kind of communal feeling with the Working Class and the spades': Sam Selvon, Tony Harrison and 'Colonization in Reverse' Jack Windle
    23. Clannish confines: the folk, the proletariat and the people in modern Scottish literature Corey Gibson
    24. A critical minefield: the haunting of the Welsh working-class novel Lisa Sheppard and Aidan Byrne
    25. Transforming working-class writers and writing: digital editions, projects and analyses Cole Crawford
    Afterword Brian Maidment.

  • Editors

    John Goodridge, Nottingham Trent University
    John Goodridge has been researching labouring-class poetry, John Clare studies and related fields for the past three decades. He is Vice-President of the John Clare Society and a Fellow of the English Association. He co-founded the Robert Bloomfield Society and the Thomas Chatterton Society, edits the Database of Labouring-Class Poets and is the General Editor of six volumes of labouring-class poetry.

    Bridget Keegan, Creighton University, Omaha
    Bridget Keegan has worked on British labouring-class poetry for nearly thirty years and has written and edited numerous publications on the topic. She is Professor of English and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Creighton University, Omaha.

    Contributors

    John Goodridge, Bridget Keegan, Jennie Batchelor, Jennifer Batt, William J. Christmas, Steve Van-Hagen, Gerard Carruthers, Kerri Andrews, Mary-Ann Constantine, Franca Dellarosa, Jennifer Orr, Scott McEathron, Ian Haywood, Gary Harrison, Kaye Kossick, Mike Sanders, Florence S. Boos, Kirstie Blair, Rod Hermeston, H. Gustav Klaus, Nicola Wilson, Anthony Cartwright, Sharon Ouditt, Jack Windle, Corey Gibson, Lisa Sheppard, Aidan Byrne, Cole Crawford, Brian Maidment

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