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In other essays, he covers topics such as radical journalist T.

Wooler's legal troubles, in which he was tried for seditious libel. Wooler's defense included an application of the Magna Carta and all social and political concepts that derived from it. Wooler's "effective acquittal in both cases not only secured his own liberty, but briefly legitimated the radical appropriation of England's dominant political mythology," Weaver stated. Epstein offers another essay in counterpoint to Wooler in which he profiles Richard Carlile , a Paineite rationalist who also harbored deep hatred toward the British constitution.

Finally, Epstein considers the rituals embedded in radical dining in the nineteenth century.

Department of History

Epstein's book "provides historians with an important analysis of a topic which has received too little attention—radical culture and symbols before Chartism," Minor remarked. In Practice: Studies in the Language and Culture of Popular Politics in Modern Britain, Epstein contributes a collection of essays "exploring the utility of the linguistic turn in looking at the cultural history of popular politics in early nineteenth-century Britain," commented Thomas William Heyck, writing in History: Review of New Books.

This "linguistic turn" occurred when new historians working in the s and s fell into disagreement with the dominant ideas of social history.

This "new generation of historians has rejected Marxism in its varying forms and turned to postmodernism and poststructuralism for inspiration. Historians who still subscribe to the notions of social history clash with newer historians who believe that "language or discourse constitutes social reality" and that methods of textual deconstruction and criticism are the only useful ways of understanding and interpreting the past, Weiler stated.

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Professor James Epstein

With In Practice, Epstein seeks to establish a middle ground between the two extremes, accepting the effects of the postmodern linguistic turn while keeping intact some elements of the older social history approach. In the book, Epstein assesses the theoretical contributions of Gareth Stedman Jones and Patrick Joyce, two prominent English historians generally credited with being leaders of the linguistic turn among their fellow British historians.

Epstein combines an appreciation of the two men with cogent criticisms of their work. In other essays, Epstein addresses ways in which to put his modified linguistic theories into practice. These essays demonstrate Epstein's "admirable ability to tease out meanings from the verbal and symbolic aspects of radical speech performances," Heyck observed. Indeed, for a work that engages with postmodernism, it wears its learning lightly and reads well," commented Albion contributor Michael T.

Browse Cari

Language, Epstein believes, is only one part of what makes up human agency. Epstein "is at his best in practice, working up close to particular texts, moments, and forms, and teasing out their complexities," remarked James Vernon in Victorian Studies. Epstein looks, for example, at the trial of Joseph Gerrald, accused of seditious libel. This and other essays in the book "wonderfully demonstrate how broader changes in political culture, such as an increasingly repressive state and the transition from the mass to the party platform, transformed the meanings of particular discourses and their conditions of possibility," Vernon stated.

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- Radical Spaces: Venues of popular politics in London, –c. - ANU

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Radical Expression: Political Language, Ritual, and Symbol in England, 1790-1850

Preview — Radical Expression by James A. This book examines radical politics in Britain in the wake of the American and French revolutions. Radical thinkers of the period expressed and disseminated their ideas not only in the formal language of journals and pamphlets, but also through symbols, such as the cap of liberty, which was hoisted at radical gatherings to invoke the ideas of the French Revolution.

Even dr This book examines radical politics in Britain in the wake of the American and French revolutions.


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Even drinking rituals took on political meaning when radicals subverted the loyal toast to "His Sovereign Majesty, the King" with toasts "To the People, the source of all legitimate power. No previous experience required. Above is the modest reference library of Chartist books that we have obtained for help with the project, many donated by supporters of the project.

Any members of the research group, researchers, or local residents who would like to borrow a book, do get in touch. Below is a full list of the titles. Work in progress…detailed histories coming soon!