Martha Vicinus (essay date 1968)
SOURCE: Vicinus, Martha. “Street Ballads and Broadsides: The Foundations of a Class Culture.” In The Industrial Muse: A Study of Nineteenth-Century British Working-Class Literature, pp. 8-59. London: Croom Helm, 1968.
[In the following excerpt, Vicinus explores the response of weavers to the mechanization of their trade as described in popular working-class broadside literature, which the critic says protested against the factory system and insisted on the rights and personal dignity of the individual.]
Broadsides contain a wealth of commentary on industrialization. Many works praise various inventions and improvements, such as ‘Steam Boots’, about a...
(The entire section is 6664 words.)