|With Henry and the Red Gnome who has helped our work|
But there have been obstacles. Getting the research funded (despite it being inexpensive, entailing only Travelodges in provincial conurbations near workers’ archives) proved difficult. I suspect my interest in Labour History got me excluded from a couple of shortlists and powerful committees. But producing what as proud mother I believe is a staggeringly beautiful intellectual baby after a 38-year gestation is far more satisfying than any career advancement could possibly be.
A People’s History of Classics: Class and Greco-Roman Antiquity in Britain will be available completely free of charge on the Routledge Taylor Francis Open Access platform, as is only appropriate for a book about responses to educational exclusion, as well as in hardback with the banner of the Lanchester miners in Co. Durham proudly hosted on its cover. The Lanchester Review, edited by the resourceful David Lindsay, yesterday posted this longer blog where I summarise the research.
The discipline did function historically as the curriculum of the British elite. This problem is still with us, and I am campaigning for a solution with a related project co-led by Arlene Holmes-Henderson. But the book reveals evidence for the diverse working-class experience of the classical world between the Bill of Rights 1689 and the outbreak of WWII: autobiographies, poetry, fiction, visual and material culture in museums, galleries and the civic environment, theatrical ephemera, records of Trade Union activities, self-education publications, mass-market inexpensive ‘classic’ series, archives relating to Poor, Free, Workers’, Adult and Dissenting educational establishments, and to political parties which supported the working class.
|John Thelwall lecturing on Roman History to 1790s Democrats|
|Ann Yearsley, the Milkmaid-Radical Poet of Bristol|