Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

Christopher Alan Bayly, Eugenio F. Biagini ed.:

64) Giuseppe Mazzini and the Globalization of Democratic Nationalism, 1830-1920.

Oxford 2008

The series of essays examines Guiseppe Mazzini’s crucial role in the popularisation of democracy in the 19th century. Their analyses reveal how his writings and reputation influenced nations and leaders across Europe, both Americas, and India. Of major significance in the context of his devotee Linton are Mazzini’s views on art and politics, which are investigated by Carlotta Sorba. In his critical writings, Mazzini had proposed “a new form of interaction between art and politics, one which was consistent with the expectations of an age characterised by the widening expectation in the spheres both of citizenship and of political participation.” In Mazzini’s opinion, the special mission of the arts was “to spur men to translate their thought into action.” Accordingly, the real artist would a have to be “at the same time educator, priest and prophet.” In this sense, Linton was perhaps the most paradigmatic Mazzinean artist of the time.

Colin Barr refers to Linton in his essay on Mazzini and Irish Nationalism as the only genuine Mazzinean to contribute to The Nation, the newspaper of the Irish republicans. In Eugenio Biagini’s article on Mazzini’s English exile, he appears as an active follower of Thomas Carlyle, which in fact he had never been. In Christopher Duggan’s essay on Mazzini’s role in Britain and Italy, Linton is recognized as the secretary of the People’s International League. Oddly enough, the crucial role he had played in the detection of the illegal observation of Mazzini’s correspondence by the British home secretary Sir James Graham, this Victorian Watergate scandal, is left unnoticed.