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Towards a Labouring-Class Poetics: Recovering Edward Rushton

  • Franca DellarosaEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Liverpool labouring-class writer Edward Rushton has been the subject of recent recovering and re-evaluation, marked by the publication of the first modern edition of his writings and an increasing number of critical studies. Rushton’s case poses especially complex questions, which are inherent in the recognition of labouring-class poetry as a major field of study within the expanding agenda of the ‘lost Romantics’. Unsurprisingly, his exquisitely 1790s radical libertarian revolutionary antislavery stance was domesticated in Victorian anthologies, aptly drawing Sketches of Obscure Poets, as that of a ‘Worthy of the Working Classes’. This paper investigates some of the still unexplored connections that intervened in shaping Rushton’s rebellious labouring-class poetics, and interrogates the reasons for his neglect during the Victorian age, at a time in which Robert Southey’s 1831 influential essay positioned ‘uneducated poets’ within British literary tradition.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aldo Moro University of BariBariItaly

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