The agitation for the People’s Charter was largely started by Radicals who had not much of an idea of the class struggle, and the document itself is a purely political manifesto enumerating points many of which had been put forth by Radicals time to time since the reform agitation had begun in the eighteenth century. But the Chartist Movement would never have had the importance it has had in the hands of its first sponsors. But it changed hands; in 1838 the feeling that had been gathering head in the manufacturing districts poured into the agitation and it was from that boiling mass that it gained its force and tragic significance. . . . What [the Chartists] said discloses what they were, the symbol of the potential revolt against the manufacturers which might make nonsense of the whole radical pattern in which middle class and working class were supposed to be allies. — J. Kitson Clark, 133-34

A History of Chartism

Chartism and Literature

Selected bibliography

Clark, J. Kitson. The Making of Victorian England. New York: Atheneum, 1971.

Egan, Pierce. Wat Tyler. London: W. S. Johnson, 1851.

Ledger, Sally, Holly Fourneaux, eds. Charles Dickens in Context. Cambridge: New York, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Sanders, Mike. The Poetry of Chartism: Aesthetics, Politics, History. Cambridge, 2009. [Reviewed by John Plotz]

St. John, Ian. Disraeli and the Art of Victorian Politics. London: Anthem Press, 2010.

Slosson, William Preston. The Decline of the Chartist Movement. New York, 1916.

Vanden Bossche, Chris. Reform Acts: Chartism, Social Agency, and the Victorian Novel, 1832-1867. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2014. [Review by Andrzej Diniejko].


Last modified 10 April 2017