Writing and Radicalism

Front Cover
John Lucas
Longman, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 358 pages
Writing and Radicalism is an important volume charting the development of popular radical writing over four centuries. The contributors to the book reveal the variety of literary responses - in poetry, drama, fiction and political essay - to crucial moments of political upheaval and social change. These begin with the Commonwealth period, take in the French Revolution, Chartism, the Suffragette Movement, such key interwar issues as the General Strike and the Spanish Civil War and conclude with the role of women in contemporary society.

Adopting a broad interdisciplinary approach, setting the critical literary perspectives in their historical context, this study traces the creative diversity of radical writing, covering influential figures such as Milton and Tom Paine, as well as groups of writers including the Chartist novelists. Key themes are addressed including urbanisation, the development of class consciousness and the subversive potential of popular culture.

This new and penetrating study combines scholarly articles with a wide range of original source material. The study extends the parameters of contemporary debate concerning the role and significance of radical writing to political movements over the period, and uncovers previously neglected writers. The sweeping chronological range of the study and the original documents make Writing and Radicalism an essential introduction for students of literature, history and politics.

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Miltons radical epic
Women and the opposition press after the Restoration

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