This book reflects upon the wide range of Chris Wrigley's research and publications in the study of the various aspects of British labour history. It presents a set of themes revolving around the British labour movement and the lives of those connected with it. The book begins with a discussion on biography in the shape of George Howell's work on trade unions and presents Herbert Gladstone's view that the unions emerged from the medieval workers guilds. Chris was also interested in political figures connected with progressivism and the labour movement, which is reflected in the examination of Gladstone's role in the Liberal Party. There is an examination of the Co-operative Party in the north-east of England, the 1911 National Insurance Act, and the relationship between the unions and the Labour Party. The inter-war British labour politics is covered by the disaffiliation of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) from the Labour Party and by a study of the Progressive League. British and German working class lives are compared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Female trade unionism is dealt with a focus on Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries (AWCS). The contribution of the Lansburys is brought by an essay on the role of the family members in working-class politics, including women's enfranchisement. The book also deals with the attempt by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) to engage with punk music, and ends with a discussion on the theme of Labour disunity.
At a time when monolingualist claims for the importance of ‘speaking English’ to the national order continue louder than ever, even as language diversity is increasingly part of contemporary British life, literature becomes a space to consider the terms of linguistic belonging. Bad English examines writers including Tom Leonard, James Kelman, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall, who engage multilingually, experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power. Considering their invented vernaculars and mixed idioms, their dramatised scenes of languaging – languages learned or lost, acts of translation, scenes of speaking, the exposure and racialised visibility of accent – it argues for a growing field of contemporary literature in Britain pre-eminently concerned with language’s power dynamics, its aesthetic potentialities, and its prosthetic strangeness. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, Bad English explores contemporary arguments about language in Britain – in debates about citizenship or education, in the media or on Twitter, in Home Office policy and asylum legislation – as well as the ways they are taken up in literature. It uncovers both an antagonistic and a productive interplay between language politics and literary form, tracing writers’ articulation of linguistic alienation and ambivalence, as well as the productivity and making-new of radical language practices. Doing so, it refutes the view that language difference and language politics are somehow irrelevant to contemporary Britain and instead argues for their constitutive centrality to the work of novelists and poets whose inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms is the generative force of their writing.
did exert some influence.
Turning to Chris Wrigley’s interest in labourlives, Dick Geary, in a
far-ranging essay, contrasts the lives of the British and German working
classes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He suggests
the notion that there were marked differences between the two. Britain
emerges as a more liberal society, in which in religion, societies and
leisure brought the working classes and the middle classes close together.
The standard of living of the British working class was higher than the
German, their housing provision better
the British Welfare State: Social Welfare in England and Wales, 1800–1945
(Basingstoke, 2004), p. 29.
3 P. Sharpe, Adapting to Capitalism: Working Women in the English Economy, 1700–1850 (London, 1996); B. Reay, Microhistories: Demography,
Society and Culture in Rural England, 1800–1930 (Cambridge, 1996); B.
Reay, Rural Englands: LabouringLives in the Nineteenth Century (Basingstoke, 2004).
4 E. Hobsbawm and G. Rudé, Captain Swing (London, 1969).
5 J.L. Hammond and B. Hammond, The Village Labourer (1911, London,
1978); J.M. Neeson, Commoners
England during industrialization’,
Past & Present, 197 (2007), 169; see also B. Reay, Rural Englands: LabouringLives
in the Nineteenth Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 38 – 48.
22 Woodward, Men at Work, pp. 133, 235.
23 Wrightson, Earthly Necessities, p. 318.
24 Schwarz, ‘Custom, wages and workload’, 171– 3.
25 P. King, ‘Customary rights and women’s earnings: the importance of gleaning
to the rural labouring poor 1750 –1850’, Economic History Review, 44 (1991),
26 P. Borsay, The English Urban Renaissance: Culture and Society in
, The Decade of Upheaval, pp. 150–183.
The impact of the Troubles 1968–79
81 Ibid., Jan. 1972. Puirséil, Labour, p. 291. Hanley and Millar, Revolution, p. 133
and 170. See also M. Mullen, Why Britain Should Leave Ireland (Dublin, 1979).
82 Liberty, Sept. 1971.
83 Meath Chronicle, 12 Feb. 1972.
84 M. Merrigan, Eagle or Cuckoo: The Story of the ATGWU in Ireland (Dublin, 1989)
pp. 236–238. Irish Times, 29 Jan. 1976.
85 Irish Press, 12 May 1970.
86 Ibid., 31 Jan. 1972.
87 Ibid., 29 May 1972.
88 C. Callan and B. Desmond, Irish LabourLives: A
to the field of action. 128
If Stevenson thought Cyprus was
unsuitable for settlers, one can only wonder how hard it was for the
veterans returning to their peasant and labouringlives.
For those discharged owing to illness, outstanding pay
claims began before the system changed in summer 1917. In September
1917, Ioannis Georgiou from Astromeritis
than the printing of a handbill. The cry was designed for the whole community to hear. As Carl
Griffin has argued, rural protest usually occurred in the context of a
fracture of community relations, typically at the scale of the township
Hastings, Chartism in the North Riding, p. 32.
B. Reay, Rural Englands: LabouringLives in the Nineteenth Century
(Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 146–7.
East Yorkshire RO, QSF/339/B/4, indictment, December 1792.
or parish.17 Skelton may have been disallowed fuel perhaps
base’, recalling Selvon’s
unnatural ‘force-ripe orange’ peeping through the London fog.75 Later,
Chikwava gives a knowing nod to Selvon’s stream-of-consciousness
evocation of ‘coasting a lime’ in the city in summertime: ‘And the good
weather in London, it now begin to change and put me in good mood
as we coast into them unending English summer days’.76 Chikwava’s
London is continuous with Selvon’s insofar as it charts the precarious, labouringlives of black subjects who find themselves fixed into
position by the city’s linguistic and racial order, in which they are