The Dignity of Chartism

by Dorothy Thompson, Stephen Roberts, E.P Thompson

Subject categories
  • 9781781688496
  • 9781781688519
This is the first collection of essays on Chartism by leading social historian Dorothy Thompson, whose work radically transformed the way in which Chartism is understood. Reclaiming Chartism as a fully-blown working-class movement, Thompson intertwines her penetrating analyses of class with ground-breaking research uncovering the role played by women in the movement.

Throughout her essays, Thompson strikes a delicate balance between down-to-the-ground accounts of local uprisings, snappy portraits of high-profile Chartist figures as well as rank-and-file men and women, and more theoretical, polemical interventions.

Of particular historical and political significance is the previously unpublished substantial essay co-authored by Dorothy and Edward Thompson, a superb piece of local historical research by two social historians then on the brink of notable careers.

  • Verso Books; June 2015
  • ISBN: 9781781688519
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Dignity of Chartism
  • Author: Dorothy Thompson; Stephen Roberts (ed.); E.P Thompson (contrib.)
  • Imprint: Verso
Subject categories
  • 9781781688496
  • 9781781688519

In The Press

“Ever alert, Dorothy Thompson probed beneath the outer surface of evidence. The results were innovatory. Her work brought to life the intense and dangerous interior world of working class meetings, conventions and newspapers.”
—Sheila Rowbotham, Guardian

“Dorothy Thompson is Chartism’s pre-eminent historian. She writes in a careful, passionate, and welcoming style giving pride of place to the voices in hymn, oratory, diary, and newspaper of the men and women who struggled against the child-consuming factory, the complacency of Victorianism, and empire-induced starvations. Those voices arose in the era of Liberalism. They need to be heeded still.”
—Peter Linebaugh

“These essays convey the distilled political and historical wisdom of a lifetime, and what a life it was. Dorothy Thompson will forever be remembered alongside the great Chartist movement she so brilliantly brought to vital, creative life.”
—Marcus Rediker, author of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom

“Dorothy Thompson, who pioneered the writing of labour history from below, emerges as a complex and lucid philosopher of social change in these writings, which also chart the evolution of the post-war British left’s thinking about both its future and its past.”
—Paul Mason

“Awesome is an over-used word in modern parlance, but Dorothy Thompson’s knowledge of Chartism was just that. She was the pre-eminent historian of the movement.”
—Owen Ashton, Labour History Review

“Dorothy Thompson brought her extraordinary knowledge of Chartism together with a passionate commitment to democratic change. Her lifetime’s work on the movement remains unsurpassed in its range and historical vision.”
—James Epstein, Vanderbilt University

“Dorothy Thompson was both a remarkable person and an influential historian of Chartism. This collection of her essays…highlights the approach of one of a formidable pair of fellow historians and left-wing intellectuals.”
—Penelope J. Corfield, History Today

“This is an extremely valuable volume … Thompson offers a master class in historical research and presentation … This is superb history … Read Dorothy Thompson’s marvellous book.”

“A handsome, readable and enjoyable collection.”
The Local Historian (British Association for Local History)

About The Author

Dorothy Thompson (1923–2011) was a social historian, a leading expert on the Chartist movement, and author of The Chartists, Outsiders: Class, Gender and Nation and Queen Victoria

Stephen Roberts is an historian of Victorian Britain, with a particular interest in Chartism. He has written or edited a number of well-known books on this subject. He was taught, as both an undergraduate and postgraduate, by Dorothy Thompson. He is currently Visiting Research Fellow in Victorian History at Newman University, Birmingham.

Subject categories
  • 9781781688496
  • 9781781688519