Author: Alison Morgan

This book is the first edited collection of poems and songs written in the immediate aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre in 1819. Of the seventy or so poems included in the anthology, many were published as broadsides and almost half were published in radical periodicals, such as the moderate Examiner and the ultra-radical Medusa with many from the Manchester Observer. Although I have provided headnotes and footnotes to support the reading of the texts, I intend them to stand alone, conveying as much of the original publication as possible, in order not to dilute the authenticity.

Following an introduction outlining the events before, during and after the massacre as well as background information on the radical press and broadside ballad, the poems are grouped into six sections according to theme, rather than chronologically or by publication because I want the reader to note the similarity between so many of the poems. Grouped in this manner, one cannot avoid the voices echoing down the centuries, speaking to us of the horrors of the time in texts that can no longer be ignored. Shelley’s Masque of Anarchy is included as an appendix in acknowledgement of its continuing significance to the representation of Peterloo.

This book is primarily aimed at students and lecturers of Romanticism and social history. With the bicentenary of the massacre in 2019 and Mike Leigh’s forthcoming film, I envisage the potential for a wider readership of people interested in learning more about one of the most seminal events in English history.

Abstract only
Alison Morgan

Introduction Peterloo The hustings remained, with a few broken and hewed flag staves erect, and a torn and gashed banner or two dropping; whilst over the whole field, were strewn caps, bonnets, hats, shawls, and shoes, and other parts of male and female dress; trampled, torn and bloody. The yeomanry had 1  To Henry Hunt, Esq. as chairman of the meeting assembled on St. Peter’s Field, Manchester on the 16th of August, 1819. Anon. MORGAN 9781784993122 PRINT.indd 1 23/04/2018 15:53 2 Ballads and songs of Peterloo dismounted, – some were easing their horses

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo
Alison Morgan

118 Ballads and songs of Peterloo 4 j ‘Your memorials shall survive the grave’: elegy and remembrance The ballads and songs within this chapter fall into two camps: elegy and remembrance. Whilst a central feature of elegiac poetry is the way in which it remembers or memorialises the dead, a poem which is one of remembrance is not necessarily an elegy. Several of the songs herein use the date of Peterloo as a temporal marker – with an eye both on the contemporaneous reader or audience and the future reader: It was in the year one thousand, Eight hundred and

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo
Alison Morgan

40 Ballads and songs of Peterloo 1 j ‘Rise Britons, rise now from your slumber’: the revolutionary call to arms Rise like lions after slumber In unvanquishable number – Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you – Ye are many – they are few.1 Shelley’s famous refrain in The Masque of Anarchy, written furiously and frantically in the ten days following his receipt of news from Manchester, is undoubtedly the most famous piece of poetry associated with Peterloo. Described by Robert Poole as ‘perhaps the most powerful of all political

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo
Alison Morgan

194 Ballads and songs of Peterloo 6 j ‘Freeman stand, or freeman die’: liberty and slavery The words ‘liberty’ or ‘freedom’ feature in forty-three poems in this collection, indicative of the centrality of this theme to the radical discourse of the day. Banners declaring ‘Liberty or Death’ and sticks adorned with caps of liberty were held high by marchers on 16 August whilst they sang ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Rule Britannia’.1 Since the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when a Catholic monarch was replaced by Protestant one without blood being shed, Britain had

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo
Alison Morgan

middleaged yeomanry dominate the image, yet central to the composition is the depiction of a young woman holding a baby and pleading for her life with the puffing buffoon, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the portrayal of the Prince Regent in graphic satire, poised to bring down a sabre on her head. The yeoman’s raised sabre is set against the Union Jack, symbol of nation and empire, thereby explicitly linking MORGAN 9781784993122 PRINT.indd 93 23/04/2018 15:53 94 Ballads and songs of Peterloo 6  Massacre at St Peter’s or ‘Britons strike home’!!! by George

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo
Alison Morgan

150 Ballads and songs of Peterloo 5 j ‘Those true sons of Mars’: chivalry, cowardice and the power of satire Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its title, this is the longest chapter in the book, comprising seventeen poems, with many in other chapters also warranting a place here. As Scrivener aptly notes: Parody, burlesque, and other satirically humorous forms are perhaps the most successful genres of reformist poetry. The implied reader of this comic verse is an already committed reformist, so that the object of such poetry is not to persuade but to delight.1

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo
Alison Morgan

Wales, was subsumed into the new imperial Great Britain.1 For postcolonial scholars, such as Edward Said, it is imperialism that begets nationalism, manifested through the creation of Self and Other, particularly for colonised peoples who need to create a sense of Self in the face of the imperial aggressor.2 This argument necessarily leads to the questioning of England’s role within the British Empire. Katie Trumpener notes that Englishness was underdeveloped MORGAN 9781784993122 PRINT.indd 65 23/04/2018 15:53 66 Ballads and songs of Peterloo due to the

in Ballads and songs of Peterloo
Christine Chism

10 The romance of the road in Athelston and two late medieval Robin Hood ballads Christine Chism This chapter explores the significance of roads as national connective tissue in Athelston, The Gest of Robin Hood and Robin Hood and the Monk. In Athelston, road-running across jurisdictions knits together diverse localities to catalyse more inclusive conceptions of England as nation.1 By contrast, the late medieval Robin Hood ballads explore the pitfalls intrinsic to such border-stepping nation-building, the resistant possibilities of strategic interruption and

in Roadworks
The Allusive Languages of Myth, Fairy Tale and Monstrosity in The Falconer
Sarah Dunnigan

This essay examines how Alice Thompson‘s novel, The Falconer (2008), creates a richly allusive Gothic weave by analysing its symbolic languages of myth, nature, and monstrosity, and how it reimagines and reinterprets other modes and texts associated with the Gothic, namely Du Maurier‘s Rebecca and the Bluebeard fairy tale, as well as Scottish ballad tradition and popular fairy belief. Mirroring the trope of metamorphosis which thematically and stylistically informs the novel, the essay also explores how these allusively poetic uses of Gothic become politicised in the portrayal of German Nazism and of traumatic historical memory.

Gothic Studies