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...
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Writing Lives Students on BBC Radio

Writing Lives Students on BBC Radio

LJMU English students and lecturer recently featured on BBC Radio 4’s major new series Five Hundred Years of Friendship Level 6 students Cleo Chalk, Steve Clark, John England and Victoria Hoffman co-wrote a blog post on ‘Memories of Improvement’ and LJMU Reader, Dr Helen Rogers, was interviewed by Radio 4 presenter Dr Thomas Dixon for the programme on ‘Felons and Oddfellows’ While developing the series Thomas asked Helen whether working-class autobiographers wrote about their friends. Since this is a question that researchers have yet to study, Helen decided to ask her students on the ‘Writing Lives’ module. On Writing Lives, students have selected an author from the unpublished manuscripts in the John Burnett Collection of Working Class Autobiography and have researched and written about an aspect of their author’s life and memoir and published their findings each week on the Writing Lives website. ‘The Memories of Improvement’ article explores what friendship meant to four of these authors. Along with Helen’s Level 5 module, Prison...
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