Secondary Sources

Ashton, Rosemary, Little Germany: Exile and Asylum in Victorian England, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. 

 An account, according to the author, "of the positive and negative effects which German exiles exercised on Britain and Britain on them." Because Jones was a friend and acquaintance of many of the primary characters in the book, his name is woven in and out of the narrative from first to last. Of particular interest is his relationship with Marx and Engels. 


Boston, Ray, British Chartists in America, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1971. New Jersey: Rowan and Littlefield Inc., 1971. 

 Explores the effect of Chartist emigration on the movement in England. 

Briggs, Asa, ed. Chartist Studies, London: MacMillan, 1967. 

 Collection of essays, primarily regional studies, including ones by Harrison and Read. Mather's study of the relationship between Chartism and government is of special interest. 

Cadogan, Peter, "Harney and Engels", International Review of Social History, X, 1965. 66-104. 

 A study undertaken for the "publication of the essentials of the Amsterdam archives", in particular the letters of Harney to Engels, but also includes correspondence by and about Jones in the 1850s. 


Clayton, Joseph, Leaders of the People: Studies in Democratic History, London: Martin Secker, 1910. 

 An old book with a twelve page study of Ernest Jones. It takes most of its information from Gammage, Frost, Wallas, the Dictionary of National Biography and the obituaries printed in the Times in 1869. 


Cole, G.D.H., Chartist Portraits, London: Macmillan, 1941. 

 Twelve essays on various figures important to the story of Chartism, although not all of the men portrayed would have called themselves Chartists. The last portrait is of Jones, of whom Cole says, "He was a poet as well as a politician, and a novelist as well as a poet", intimating that these were significant aspects of Jones's character and contribution to Chartism. Several of the other portraits shed light on Jones as well, particularly those of O'Connor and Harney. 


Davies, David P. A Short Sketch of the Life and Labours of Ernest Jones, Chartist, Barrister, and Poet, To Which is Added Several of his Poems., Liverpool: The "Journal of Commerce" Printing Works, 1897. 

 Barely more than a pamphlet, this little volume tells Jones's story plainly and simply, without wholesale lifting from Howell as others of the early biographers and pamphleteers did. Davies also spends a paragraph or two on contemporary and historical opinion of Jones. 

Epstein, J.A., "Feargus O'Connor and the Northern Star" International Review of Social History, vol. XXI pt. 1, 1976. 51-97. 


Epstein, James and Thompson, Dorothy, Eds. The Chartist Experience: Studies in Working-Class Radicalism and Culture, 1830-1860, London, MacMillan, 1985 (first published 1982). 

 Begun as an update to Asa Briggs' volume of Chartist studies, it contains many fine regional studies. Of the more general studies, one of the most interesting is that by Gareth Stedman Jones on the language of Chartism. (see below) 


Faulkner, Harold Underwood, Chartism and the Churches: A Study in Democracy, New York: Columbia University Thesis, 1916. 

 An examination of the reaction of British churches, state and dissenting, to the democratic challenge of Chartism. Faulkner concludes that "organized Christianity deliberately refused the leadership in political and social reformation, and the burden was taken up by the proletariat." He also provides an analysis of Chartist efforts to identify their movement with Christianity and to substitute Chartist activities for previously church-oriented ones. 


Finn, Margot Claire, "After Chartism: Nationalist Sentiment in English Popular Radicalism, 1848-1871", Doctoral Thesis, Columbia University, 1987. 

 Finn concludes that Chartism, in an effort to survive the collapse of the mass platform, co-opted continental, particularly French, radical, republican, democratic and socialistic rhetoric and theory and combined them with English radical tradition as described by Thompson in The Making of the English Working Class. She cites abundant evidence from the late Chartist press, particularly the speeches and writings of O'Brien, Linton, Harney, Jones and Holyoake. The remainder of her thesis is concerned with the ways in which nationalism was used by both the working classes and the middle classes for the same purposes, that is to augment or reinforce their own positions of power, but without reference to the other, therefore tending to increase class tensions and divisions while decreasing the distance between their positions. Although not explicit in Finn's argument, the latter point may help to explain the gathering momentum for co-operation between the classes in the 1850s and 60s. 


Gillespie, Frances Elma, Labor and Politics in England 1850-1867, New York: Octagon Books, 1966. 

Glasier, J. Bruce, "Ernest Jones: Chartist Leader, Orator and Poet", The Labour Leader, January 23, 1919, 7. 

 An article written to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Ernest Jones. The same issue also includes an article written by Jones's son and some of his poetry. 


Goodway, David, London Chartism: 1838-1848, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. 

 Goodway's book is the first full-length study of Chartism in metropolitan London. Several of Goodway's conclusions contradict older assumptions. In particular, he rejects the appraisal of April 10 as a humiliating failure for the Chartists, arguing instead that if there was a 'fiasco' it lay in the "massive over-reaction of their opponents". It is a valuable book, not only for its prodigious research, but for its emphasis on quantifying, in the form of tables, evidence which has heretofore been presented mostly in anecdotal form, and its use of illustrations, including a reprint of the much-talked about but rarely seen daguerrotype of the Kennington Common meeting, purported to be the first 'crowd' photograph in history. 


Groves, Reg, But We Shall Rise Again, London: Secker and Warburg, 1938. 

 Groves wrote from a socialist point of view, and although this is a valuable book, it is marred by a too oft-repeated insistence on the exclusive class nature of early Chartism. This aside, Groves's narrative history adds much useful detail, particularly as regards Harney and Jones in relation to Marx and Engels. He quotes liberally from many sources, without, however, providing any footnotes or bibliographic references. A passionate, readable book. 


Grugel, Lee, E. George Jacob Holyoake: A Study in the Evolution of a Victorian Radical, Philadelphia: Porcupine Press, Inc., 1976. 

 Holyoake was a proponent of self-help, individualism and social progress through education. "Holyoake sought to educate the working classes to those standards of conduct which were loudly proclaimed from platform, pulpit and press." Grugel seems to believe that lack of moderation and lack of unity of the radical working men's movements led to their failure to secure significant progress. He insists too much on Holyoake's moderation, intentionally or unintentionally leaving out much of Holyoake's passion and anger. 


Hadfield, Alice Mary, The Chartist Land Company, Devon: David and Charles, 1970. 

 An overenthusiastic treatment of the history of O'Connor's Land Company. The author seemed to believe all the nice things O'Connor was so fond of saying about himself. 

Hambrick, Margaret, A Chartist's Library, London: Mansell Publishing Ltd., 1986 

 A catalogue of books donated by the heirs of George Julian Harney. Many of the books bear dedications to and inscriptions and annotations by Harney and some include newspaper clippings (also annotated) enclosed between the pages. A compendium of literature, British and American political writings, philosophy, travel writings and ancient and modern national histories. They bear witness to the diversity of interests which occupied Harney during his long life which began and ended in Britain but included twenty odd years in America. Of particular interest is the long list of radicals, from Louis Blanc to Emile Zola, represented here. 


Hammond, J.L and Hammond, Barbara, The Age of the Chartists 1832-1854: A Study of Discontent, New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1967 (first publ. 1930.) 

 An overview of the mid-nineteenth century which provides a background for Chartist agitation. Not very much information about the Chartist movement; not a word about Jones or Harney. 


Haraszti, Eva, Chartism, Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1978 (Trans. by Sandor Simon) 

 Perhaps the most widely read history of Chartism from Eastern Europe (where Chartism has a large following). Well-researched treatment if a bit too effusive about the inevitability and rightness of the cause. For example: "Chartism, the revolutionary working-class movement preparatory to a nascent new society, a movement which sprang up a little too early but inevitably, and which gave rise to the Marxist theory..." 


Harding, C. G., ed. The Republican, New York: Garland Publishing, 1986. (one of a twenty-two volume facsimile series reproducing contemporary documents of the Chartist movement in Britain). 

This newspaper, published in 1848, included articles on all aspects of Chartism by many leading names, including Miall, Lovett, and Linton. 


Harrison, J.F.C., Thompson, Dorothy, Bibliography of the Chartist Movement, 1837-1976, Sussex: Harvester Press and New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1978. 

 Indispensable. Only improvement would be an update. 


Harrison, Royden, Before the Socialists: Studies in Labour and Politics, 1861-1881, London: Routledge and Kegan, 1965. 


Hovell, Mark, The Chartist Movement, Manchester: Manchester University Press, Third ed. 1966, first publ. 1918. 

 First modern study of Chartism, published posthumously in 1918, still considered the classic. Gareth Stedman Jones called him "still perhaps the most influential historian of Chartism". 


Jones, David, Chartism and the Chartists, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1975. 

 This volume was written as an introduction to the subject for students. For this it is ideally suited; it is engaging, readable, authoritative and likely to promote an interest in Chartism. Celtic enthusiasm, about which the author warns the reader in the preface, is evident throughout. 


Jones, Gareth Stedman, "Some Notes on Karl Marx and the English Labour Movement" History Workshop Journal, 18, Autumn 1984. 

 Some observations on Jones and his unsuccessful efforts to use the excitement caused by the wave of strikes (beginning with Preston) to revive Chartism. 


Jones, Gareth Stedman, "The Language of Chartism", J. Epstein and D. Thompson eds., The Chartist Experience: Studies in Working Class Radicalism and Culture, 1830-1860. (see above) 

 Jones explores the relationship between Chartist language and the development of the movement. He suggests that the emphasis in Chartist studies has for so long been on its social importance, that its political meaning has been obscured. Why did the Chartists seek a political solution to a social problem? The answer he finds is that they inherited a belief that economic and social injury results from too much political power in too few hands. As long as this belief was supportable from daily evidence Chartism flourished. Chartism declined "when a gulf opened up between its premises and the perception of its constituency." 


Kovalev, IU. V., An Anthology of Chartist Literature, Moscow, 1956. 

 An anthology of Chartist songs, poems, speeches and essays. The introduction and the notes are in Russian, but the text of the chosen pieces is in English. Ernest Jones is well-represented; Kovalev has collected many hard to find pieces, including stories and a novel. An important resource long out of print. 

Large, David, "London in the Year of Revolutions, 1848", in London in the Age of Reform, John Stevenson, ed., Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1977. 

 In this study of the events surrounding April 10th, Large concludes that the Chartists never intended violence, but rather that the government of Lord Russell used the frightening spectre of a French-style revolution to give itself an opportunity to play the saviour in the public mind. To support this argument he uses evidence from private letters, the records of state trials, and Home Office records which demonstrate how informed the government and police were regarding Chartist activities. 


Leary, Frederick, The Life of Ernest Jones, London: "Democrat" Publishing Office, 1887. 

 A dense little biography published eighteen years after Jones's death. It is a valuable resource as it employs lengthy quotations from Jones's speeches, articles and poems, many not readily found elsewhere. Carefully written and detailed, it provides dates and names important to a complete retelling and analysis of the events of Jones's life. 


Mather, F.C., Chartism, London: The Historical Association, 1965. 

 A pamphlet, apparently intended for school use, providing a short, but thoughtful, overview. 


Mather, F.C., Public Order in the Time of the Chartists, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1959. 

 A study of the development and use of government security and police forces to prevent disorder. Useful commentary on the role of police spies to infiltrate organizations and urge them to illegal acts. 


McCabe, Life and Letters of George Jacob Holyoake, London: Watts and Co., 1908. 


Olsen, Gerald Wayne, ed. Religion and Revolution in Early-Industrial England: The Halevy Thesis and its Critics. Lanham: University Press of America, 1990. 

 Selected writings, under various headings, concerned with the issue of Halevy's thesis on "religion and the absence of revolution in early industrial England." 


Peyrouten, N.C., "Dickens and the Chartists" The Dickensian, lx, nos. 343-344, Spring-summer 1964. 78-88. 


Pickering, Paul, A., "Class Without Words: Symbolic Communication in the Chartist Movement" Past and Present, cxii, August 1986, 144-162. 

 Pickering explores the importance of symbolic communication in the Chartist movement, arguing that written reports of speeches are not reliable. He emphasises Feargus O'Connor's adoption of the Fustian jacket after his release from York Castle. Pickering also looks at the use of the white hat and the red cap and banner symbolism. His argument is that these things played a more important role in the formation of class-consciousness than has usually been realized. He is convincing (with some reservations), but it is not as important an article as Stedman Jones's. 


Read, Donald, "Feargus O'Connor, Irishman and Chartist", History Today, March, 1961, 165-174. 


Read, Donald and Glasgow, Eric, Feargus O'Connor: Irishman and Chartist, London: Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd., 1961. 

 A small volume which presents a more balanced view of O'Connor than that commonly accepted. A critical, although not unsympathetic view of O'Connor's leadership. 


Rosenblatt, Frank F., The Chartist Movement in its Social and Economic Aspects, London: Frank Cass and Co, Ltd., 1967 (originally published in 1916) 


Rowe, D.J., "The Failure of London Chartism", The Historical Journal, XI, 3 (1968), pp. 472-487. 

 Focussing primarily on earlier phases of Chartism, Rowe examines the relative lack of interest in Chartist radicalism in London, He only partially accepts the social stagnation theory, and suggests that more research needs to be done before definite conclusions can be drawn. 


Saville, John, 1848, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987. 

 A minutely detailed story of this watershed year, examining the position of British domestic politics "within the triangle of revolutionary Paris, insurgent Ireland, and a revitalised native Chartist movement in London and the industrial North." He concluded that "the significance of 1848 [was] the closing of ranks among all those with a property stake in the country." 


Saville, John, "Chartism in the Year of Revolution (1848),", The Modern Quarterly, Vol. 8., Winter 1952-53. pp. 23-33. 

 Saville argues that, although April 10th was a defeat for the working class movement, "it does not follow that Chartism collapsed into insignificance after" that day. He goes on to describe "the third and last phase" of Chartism. 


Saville, John, Ernest Jones: Chartist, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1952. 

 A short biography of Ernest Jones followed by a collection of his writings including letters, articles, speeches and poems. A well-selected collection which amplifies the picture of Jones presented by Saville. Willson Coates called the biography both sympathetic and critical. 


Schluter, Hermann, Die Chartisten Bewegung: Ein Beitrag zur Sozialpolitischen Geschichte Englands, New York: Socialist Literature Co., 1916. 

 Written from a socialist viewpoint, the book is valuable for its analysis of why Chartism failed and for its attention to detail. It is clear that Ernest Jones' story earned the respect of the author. 

Schoyen, A. R.., The Chartist Challenge: A Portrait of George Julian Harney, London: Heinemann, 1958. 

 The only full-length biography of Harney. Interesting for its insights into the quarrels, recriminations and reconciliations between the shifting factions of Chartism, with which he was involved from 1839 until the early fifties as a writer, publisher and much sought after speaker. Schoyen's task is a melancholy one as Harney's career, after much hard work and years of promise and influence, peters away into irrelevancy, and the author is left with a discussion filled with "what ifs". 

Sederberg, Peter C., Terrorist Myths: Illusion, Rhetoric, and Reality, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1989. 


Slosson, Preston William, The Decline of the Chartist Movement, New York: Columbia University Ph.D. Thesis, 1916. 

 Interesting and well-written, this study seeks to determine not only the causes of decline of the Chartist movement, but also the lasting results. Slosson concludes that the failure of 1848 is more a symptom of decline than the cause. Includes a chapter on the period from 1848 to 1853 when the last Chartist executive was elected. 


Tatarinova, Kira, "Soviet historians on Chartism", Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, v (Autumn 1962), 27-32. 


Tholfsen, Trygve, Working Class Radicalism in Mid- Victorian England, New York: Columbia University Press, 1977. 

 Tholfsen deals with the "swift transition from the militant working-class radicalism of the 1830s and 1840s to the relative quiescence of the age of equipoise." He argues that interpretations which look at developments during this period as a working-class surrender to middle-class ideology miss significant aspects of the survival, albeit in a muted form, of older aspects of radicalism, including a continued emphasis on class-consciousness, independence, romantic idealism and education free of the taint of middle- class moral reformism. 

Thompson, Dorothy, "Chartism as a Historical Subject", Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, xx 1970, 10-13 


Thompson, Dorothy, The Chartists: Popular Politics in the Industrial Revolution, New York: Pantheon Books, 1984. 

 An important study, better written than most and very thoroughly researched. Thompson attempts to answer the questions: Why Chartism? How did so many people come to believe that their problems could have a political solution? Why did that belief fade? Thompson has a long and impressive history of Chartist writing and her expertise shows in this book. 


Thompson, Dorothy, "Letters from Ernest Jones to Karl Marx, 1865-1868", Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, no. 4, Spring 1962, 10-23 

 This collection was selected specifically to show the extent of Jones's and Marx's co-operation in the agitation leading to the reform Bill (1867) and their activity on behalf of the Reform League. 


Thompson, Dorothy, "Notes on Aspects of Chartist Leadership", Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, XV, Autumn 1967, 28-33. 

 A review of articles by Soffner and Rowe and the Merlin Press reprint edition of the Red Republican and the Friend of the People, with introduction by John Saville, in which she emphasises the extent to which the movement was held together by class- identification, in contradiction to most theories which emphasise the extent to which the movement was divided by ideological differences. 


Wakefield, Aurelius Basilio, Ernest Jones, the People's Friend, Halifax: 1887 (repr. Halifax, 1891) 

 A very flattering study of Ernest Jones's life and career. Although obviously written to honour his memory, it contains details not readily available elsewhere. 

Ward, J. T., Chartism, London: B. T. Batsford, 1973. 

 A very unattractive Ernest Jones emerges from these pages, when he is evident at all. He is dismissed as arrogant, inconsistent and dictatorial. Much of the evidence for these accusations is hearsay and Jones's detractors have all the last words. 


Webb, R.K., The British Working Class Reader 1790- 1848, London: George Allen and Unwin, 1955. 

 A collection of essays related to the issues of working-class literacy: how they learned to read; what they read; what they were discouraged from reading. 


Weisser, Henry, April 10, Challenge and Response in England in 1848, Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1983. 

 Weisser has done a great service for future historians by searching out and compiling minute details about this very important day. A wealth of detail gleaned from newspapers, letters, diaries, government papers and eye-witness reports. One of Weisser's analyses concerns the propagandistic uses made of the French Revolution, first by the physical force Chartists and later, after it failed, by the middle and upper classes. Another, important to my work, is the discussion concerning the option of violence. Weisser's discussion of Chartist historiography concerning this subject is also useful. 


Weisser, Henry, "Chartist Biography: A Critical Bibliographic Essay", Rocky Mountain Social Science Journal, 9 (1), 1972, 117-25. 

 Weisser's study is useful and not as dated as one might suspect considering when it was written. Many of the gaps he identified still exist today, including the one regarding Jones. He has left a gap himself, however, by neglecting to mention Aurelius B. Wakefield's 1891 biography of Jones. Many of Weisser's comments, moreover, seem superficial and hasty-- hopefully not an indication of his respect for his intended audience. 


Weisser, Henry, "Chartist Internationalism, 1845-1848", The Historical Journal, xiv, 1 (1971), 49-66. 

Weisser argues here that the Fraternal Democrats, an organization begun by and counting among its members many Chartists, merits the kind of historical attention it gets mainly because of the association with Marx. It was a small, short-lived organization with a hazy purpose and is important primarily because of its Chartist and Communist connections. 


West, Julius, A History of the Chartist Movement, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1920. 

Like Hovell, whose contemporary he was, West died before finishing his book. There is general agreement that the part he wrote is superior to the parts finished by his editor. 

Wilson, Alexander, The Chartist Movement in Scotland, New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1970. 

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