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Key Texts



John Belchem, ‘Radical language and ideology in early nineteenth century England’, Albion, 1988 [online]

Anna Clark, ‘The Rhetoric of Chartist Domesticity: Gender, language and class in the 1830s and 1840s’, Journal of British Studies, 1992 [online]

Paul Pickering, ‘“The Hearts of Millions”: Chartism and Popular Monarchism in the 1840s’, History, 2003 [online]

Paul Pickering, ‘“And your petitioners etc.” Chartist petitioning in popular politics, 1838-48’, English Historical Review, 2001 [online]

John Plotz, ‘Crowd power: Chartism, Carlyle and the Victorian Public Sphere’, Representations, 2000 [online]

Miles Taylor, ‘Rethinking the Chartists: searching for synthesis in the historiography of Chartism’, (review essay), Historical Journal, [online]

Original documents online in The Making of the Modern World [electronic library resource]



  • Was Chartism primarily a political, social or economic movement?
  • Did the role of working-class women in Chartism challenge or reinforce the dominant gender ideologies?
  • Is ‘language’ or ‘class’ more important in understanding the Chartists?
  • Was Chartism primarily a local or a national movement?
  • Why did Chartism ultimately fail to meet its objectives?

Further Reading




John Belchem, ‘Radical language. Meaning and identity in the Age of the Chartists’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 2005

Gregory Claeys (ed.), The Chartist Movement in Britain (original documents)

Anna Clark, The Struggle for the Breeches


J R Dinwiddy, Chartism


James Epestein, The Lion of Freedom: Feargus O’Connor and the Chartist Movement


James Epstein and Dorothy Thompson (eds), The Chartist Experience: Studies in Working-Class Radicalism and Culture


David Goodway, London Chartism


David Jones, Chartism and the Chartists

David Jones, ‘Women and Chartism’, History, 1983

Paul Pickering, ‘Chartism and the trade of agitation in early Victorian Britain’, History, 1991

Stephen Roberts and Dorothy Thompson, Images of Chartism


Stephen Roberts, Radical Politicians and Poets in early Victorian Britain: the voices of six Chartist leaders


Edward Royle, Chartism


John Saville, 1848: the British State and the Chartist Movement


Jutta Schwarzkopf, Women in the Chartist Movement


Gareth Stedman Jones, Languages of Class


Dorothy Thompson, The Chartists: Popular Politics in the Industrial Revolution


Dorothy Thompson, (ed.), The Early Chartists


Dorothy Thompson, The Chartists


J T Ward, Chartism