Singing a Song of Victorian Poverty

Singing a Song of Victorian Poverty

In a summer break largely consumed by traditional conference duties (Victorian Periodicals in Ghent in July, more periodicals in Stockholm in September) it has been a relief to step out a little from normal scholarly events. In late July, on the strength of a long standing interest in writing by labouring class men and women in the nineteenth century, I was invited by a radio producer based in Manchester to contribute to a programme on the popular literature of the industrial revolution to be broadcast on Radio 4. The great attraction, apart from the fascination of seeing how something like this is put together, was that the presenter of the programme is Eliza Carthy, one of Britain’s leading traditional singers. I had heard Eliza and her father Martin sing and play together a few weeks previously, and I was very interested to meet her. The programme was put together in Chetham’s Library in Manchester, a library based in beautiful medieval buildings...
Read More