Introduction
1 On the discursive masculinization of working- class political rights and agency in
the contemporaneous Chartist movement in England, see Scott, Gender and the
Politics of History, 53–67. She writes, “We cannot understand how concepts of class
acquired legitimacy and established political movements, without examining con-
cepts of gender. . . . The link between gender and class . . . [is] every bit as material
as the link between productive forces and relations of production” (66).
2 The Aristocrat and Trades Union Advocate, iii–iv.
3 Zboray and Zboray, Voices without Votes; Kelley, Learning to Stand and Speak.
4 According to Gilje and Rock, the emergence of republican motherhood and
cult of domesticity marked a “process of redefinition” and a “denial of the more
radical gender meanings—including greater political awareness and economic
independence— implied in the experience of poorer women who had sacrificed so
much during the course of the war” (Keepers of the Revolution, 246). I argue that
the historical memory of the range of women’s economic activities and identities,
disavowed by the new ideology of gender, were preserved in cultural texts. Work-
ingwomen’s reproductive labors are, in part, cultural and literary labors, facilitating
the preservation and transmission of class memory.
5 On the history of this counterknowledge in the revolutionary era, which mobi-
lized plebian women’s participation in popular politics “not as republican wives
or mothers but as social and economic actors within household, neighborhood,
and marketplace,” see Smith, “Food Rioters and the American Revolution.” The
complex interrelationship in antebellum working- class culture between orature and
written texts is explored throughout this book.
6 Like many radical workingmen from this period, the poet was largely self- taught;
she clearly embraced the working- class movement’s republican emphasis on edu-
cational equity and the dissemination of knowledge as means of freedom. On the
debate about educational reform among radical workingmen, see Wilentz, Chants
Democratic. On the emphasis on education among British workers, see Vincent,
Bread, Knowledge and Freedom.
Notes
Previous Page Next Page