Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Chartism Bibliography: General works on Chartism and historiography

Edward Royle Chartism, Longman, 3rd ed., 1996, Asa Briggs Chartism, Sutton, 1998, Richard Brown Chartism, Cambridge, 1998, Harry Browne Chartism, Hodder & Stoughton, 1999, John Walton Chartism, Routledge, 1999 and Eric Evans Chartism, Longman, 2000 form the most accessible general studies.

F.C. Mather Chartism, London, 1965 and J.R. Dinwiddy Chartism, London, 1987 are brief surveys. More detailed studies are Asa Briggs (ed.) Chartist Studies, Macmillan, 1959, James Epstein and Dorothy Thompson (eds.) The Chartist Experience: Studies in Working Class Radicalism and Culture 1830-1860, Macmillan, 1982, David Jones Chartism and the Chartists, Allen Lane, 1975, Dorothy Thompson The Chartists: Popular Politics in the Industrial Revolution, Aldershot, 1984 and J.T. Ward Chartism, London, 1973. Malcolm Chase Chartism: A New History, Manchester University Press, 2007 must now be regarded as the most up-to-date study. John Charlton The Chartists: the First National Workers’ movement, Pluto Press, 1997 is a brief class-based analysis. Edward Royle Revolutionary Britannia?, Manchester University Press, 2001 examines the extent of Britain’s revolutionary potential from the 1790s through to Chartism. Stephen Roberts (ed.) The People’s Charter: Democratic Agitation in Early Victorian England, Merlin Press, 2003 reprints key articles on Chartism by Eileen Yeo, Malcolm Chase, Philip Howell and Roberts himself. It also contains valuable primary materials.

Useful summaries of the historiography of Chartism can be found in Dorothy Thompson ‘Chartism and the historians’, in Outsiders. Class, Gender and Nation, Virago, 1993, pages 19-44 and John Charlton The Chartists: The First National Workers’ Movement, Pluto Press, 1997, pages 90-95. Miles Taylor ‘Rethinking the Chartists: Searching for synthesis in the historiography of Chartism’, Historical Journal, volume 39, (1996), pages 479-495 is undoubtedly the best summary of where debates on Chartism had got to by the mid-1990s.

R.G. Gammage The History of the Chartist Movement, from its Commencement Down to the Present Times, 1st ed., London, 1855, 2nd ed., Newcastle, 1894. A useful discussion of Gammage and his History, especially the differences between the two editions, can be found in Joyce Bellamy and John Saville (eds.) Dictionary of Labour History, volume vi, London, 1982, pages 114-117 and in John Saville’s introduction to the 1969 reprint.

There were, broadly two traditions in writing about Chartism: the Fabian and Marxist perspectives. Mark Hovell The Chartist Movement, Manchester University Press 1918 is the best exponent of the Fabian position. However, he needs to be read in relation to H. U. Faulkner Chartism and the Churches, F. F. Rosenblatt The Chartist Movement in its Social and Economic Aspects and P. W. Slossom The Decline of the Chartist Movement, all published New York, 1916 and Julius West History of Chartism, London 1920 and E Dolléans Le Chartisme, Paris, 1914. Theodore Rothstein From Chartism to Labourism, London, 1929 and Reg Groves But We Shall Rise Again, London, 1938 exemplify the Marxist position.

The post-modern approach is best explored in Patrick Joyce Visions of the People, Cambridge University Press, 1991 and Democratic subjects, Cambridge University Press, 1994 and James Vernon Politics and the People, Cambridge, 1993 and Vernon (ed.) Re-reading the constitution, Cambridge University Press, 1996.

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