Liberty's Dawn A People's History of the Industrial Revolution Emma Griffin
- Publication date:
- 05 Mar 2013
- 336 pages: 229 x 152 x 30mm
- 16pp. of b&w illustrations
This remarkable book looks at hundreds of autobiographies penned between 1760 and 1900 to offer an intimate firsthand account of how the Industrial Revolution was experienced by the working class. The Industrial Revolution brought not simply misery and poverty. On the contrary, Griffin shows how it raised incomes, improved literacy, and offered exciting opportunities for political action. For many, this was a period of new, and much valued, sexual and cultural freedom. This rich personal account focuses on the social impact of the Industrial Revolution, rather than its economic and political histories. In the tradition of best-selling books by Liza Picard, Judith Flanders, and Jerry White, Griffin gets under the skin of the period and creates a cast of colourful characters, including factory workers, miners, shoemakers, carpenters, servants, and farm labourers.
Emma Griffin is senior lecturer in history at the University of East Anglia and an expert on the social and economic history of Britain from 1700 to 1870. She is a frequent contributor to Radio Three's Night Waves and the author of three previous books, including A Short History of the British Industrial Revolution and Blood Sport: A History of Hunting in Britain.
“Through the ‘messy tales’ of more than 350 working-class lives, Emma Griffin arrives at an upbeat interpretation of the Industrial Revolution most of us would hardly recognise. It is quite enthralling.”—Elizabeth Grice, Oldie Magazine
“This is a brave book that challenges accepted wisdom by offering a decidedly optimistic view of the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the opportunities, freedoms and choices available to the working class.”—Pat Hudson, Times Higher Education Supplement
“Liberty’s Dawn is a triumph, achieved in fewer than 250 gracefully written pages. They persuasively purvey Griffin’s historical conviction. She is intimate with her audience, wooing it and teasing it along the way.”—Anthony Fletcher, Times Literary Supplement