The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2002 - History - 534 pages
1 Review
Which books did the British working classes read--and how did they read them? How did they respond to canonical authors, penny dreadfuls, classical music, school stories, Shakespeare, Marx, Hollywood movies, imperialist propaganda, the Bible, the BBC, the Bloomsbury Group? What was the quality of their classroom education? How did they educate themselves? What was their level of cultural literacy: how much did they know about politics, science, history, philosophy, poetry, and sexuality? Who were the proletarian intellectuals, and why did they pursue the life of the mind? These intriguing questions, which until recently historians considered unanswerable, are addressed in this book. Using innovative research techniques and a vast range of unexpected sources, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes tracks the rise and decline of the British autodidact from the pre-industrial era to the twentieth century. It offers a new method for cultural historians--an "audience history" that recovers the responses of readers, students, theatergoers, filmgoers, and radio listeners. Jonathan Rose provides an intellectual history of people who were not expected to think for themselves, told from their perspective. He draws on workers' memoirs, oral history, social surveys, opinion polls, school records, library registers, and newspapers. Through its novel and challenging approach to literary history, the book gains access to politics, ideology, popular culture, and social relationships across two centuries of British working-class experience.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jimsnopes - LibraryThing

This book is written with a consistent lilt and heft that complement each other so well; I am enjoying it as much as any other I have ever come across. It is a model of how to write a thoroughly ... Read full review

Contents

III
1
IV
12
V
16
VI
18
VII
20
VIII
29
IX
39
X
48
XLII
253
XLIII
256
XLIV
258
XLV
265
XLVI
282
XLVII
292
XLVIII
298
XLIX
300

XI
58
XII
62
XIII
70
XIV
73
XV
79
XVI
83
XVII
92
XVIII
93
XIX
102
XX
116
XXI
122
XXII
125
XXIII
131
XXIV
136
XXV
146
XXVI
151
XXVII
156
XXVIII
168
XXIX
172
XXX
177
XXXI
182
XXXII
187
XXXIII
190
XXXIV
196
XXXV
206
XXXVI
220
XXXVII
223
XXXVIII
230
XXXIX
237
XL
238
XLI
244
L
305
LI
307
LII
315
LIII
321
LIV
322
LV
331
LVI
335
LVII
341
LVIII
350
LIX
353
LX
362
LXI
365
LXII
367
LXIII
371
LXIV
379
LXV
381
LXVI
386
LXVII
393
LXVIII
394
LXIX
401
LXX
413
LXXI
417
LXXII
421
LXXIII
431
LXXIV
439
LXXVI
447
LXXVII
453
LXXVIII
455
LXXIX
465
LXXX
518
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)

Rose is the founder and past president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing.

Bibliographic information