Radical Underworld: Prophets, Revolutionaries, and Pornographers in London, 1795-1840

Paperback | November 1, 1988

byIain Mccalman

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This is a paperback edition of a highly acclaimed study of English popular radicalism during the period between the anti-Jacobin government `Terror' of the 1790s and the beginnings of Chartism. Challenging conventional distinctions between `high' and `low' culture, Iain McCalman brilliantlyreveals the links between the political underworld and literary culture, poverty, crime, and prophetic religion. Drawing on information from spy reports and contemporary literature, the book traces for the first time the history of the underground revolutionary-republican grouping founded by the agrarian reformer, Thomas Spence. Challenging conventional distinctions between 'high' and 'low' culture, McCalmanilluminates the darker, more populist sides of Romanticism. His underworld of ideas links the Shelleys to pornographer-revolutionaries and political blackmailers, millenarian prophecy to discourses of blasphemy, black revolution and saturnalian theatricality, and radical journalism to the GrubStreet undergrowth of bawdy and pornography which sprang up in the opening years of Queen Victoria's reign. Radical Underworld broadens the conventional boundaries of popular politics and culture by illuminating a political underworld connected with poverty, crime, prophetic religion and literary culture. It is a model of cultural history and a major re-evaluation of its topic.

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This is a paperback edition of a highly acclaimed study of English popular radicalism during the period between the anti-Jacobin government `Terror' of the 1790s and the beginnings of Chartism. Challenging conventional distinctions between `high' and `low' culture, Iain McCalman brilliantlyreveals the links between the political underw...

Iain McCalman is at Australian National University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:358 pages, 9.06 × 6.1 × 0.87 inPublished:November 1, 1988Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198122861

ISBN - 13:9780198122869

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'McCalman vividly evokes the milieu and culture which revolutionary artisans shared with the celebrated engraver-poet, William Blake ... the radical mouthpieces of a rich, fascinating, and too little known undergraound radical culture of the world we have lost.' Roy Porter, Journal of theHistory of the Behavioural Sciences