- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-1743-4
- Pages: 320
- Price: £90.00
- Published Date: June 2021
Celebrities, heroes and champions explores the role of the popular politician in British and Irish society from the Napoleonic Wars to the Second Reform Act of 1867. Covering movements for parliamentary reform up to and including Chartism, Catholic Emancipation, transatlantic Anti-Slavery and the Anti-Corn Law League, as well as the receptions of international celebrities such as Lajos Kossuth and Giuseppe Garibaldi, it offers a unique perspective on the connections between politics and historical cultures of fame and celebrity.
This book will interest students and scholars of Britain, Ireland, continental Europe and North America in the nineteenth century, as well as general readers with an interest in the history of popular politics. Its exploration of the relationship between politics and celebrity, and the methods through which public reputations have been promoted and manipulated for political ends, have clear contemporary relevance.
'This is a superb, erudite study of an extremely important aspect of British politics during the 19th century. Making extensive use of primary and secondary sources, Morgan (Leeds Beckett Univ. UK) provides an account and analysis of popular political movements. He concentrates on the ultimately successful agitation to allow Catholics to participate politically and its leading advocate Daniel O'Connell, Richard Cobden and the repeal of the Corn Laws, the less successful Chartist movement and Feargus O'Connor, and to a lesser extent the campaign against slavery. Morgan provides an excellent sense of both organization and personality, detailing how the causes were pursued largely among those who did not have the vote. Most effective were innumerable public meetings as well as prints, poetry, songs, pottery, and even the naming of children, all of which were crucial in bringing about important political changes. The last chapter on Lajos Kossuth's and Giuseppe Garibaldi's tours in Britain, though interesting, seems more of an appendix; they did not have the same effect as the more domestic campaigns. By 1867 the "out of doors" agitation had done its work and a more democratic society had been achieved.'
--P. Stansky, emeritus, Stanford University
Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers through faculty.
Reprinted with permission from Choice Reviews. All rights reserved. Copyright by the American Library Association.
'One of the most important studies we now have of how popular politics worked in the Age of Reform.'
Rohan McWilliam, The English Historical Review
1 Building reputations: the path to renown
2 The people's champions
3 Heroes and hero-worship
5 The private lives of agitators
6 Romantic revolutionaries
Simon James Morgan is Head of History at Leeds Beckett University