Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

Martha Vicinus:

37) The Industrial Muse: A Study of Nineteenth Century British Working Class Literature.

London 1974

Martha Vicinus’s groundbreaking social study situates Chartist literature in the broader context of the working class’s creative literary achievements, ranging from broadside culture, worker union’s propaganda literature, dialect literature, up the mass entertainment of the music halls. The chapter on Chartist poetry and fiction concentrates on the “four best-known writers: W.J. Linton, Ernest Jones, Gerald Massey and Thomas Cooper. Their poetry and writing mirror many of the strengths and difficulties of pioneering a written working-class literature. They were most skilful in adapting a variety of poetic forms to their political subject matter.”