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By Peter Linebaugh

Peter Linebaugh, in a rare historic and literary journey de strength, enlists the nameless and scorned nineteenth century loom-breakers of the English midlands into front ranks of a world, polyglot, many-colored group of commoners resisting dispossession within the sunrise of capitalist modernity.

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Ned Ludd & Queen Mab: Machine-Breaking, Romanticism, and the Several Commons of 1811-12

Peter Linebaugh, in a rare old and literary journey de strength, enlists the nameless and scorned nineteenth century loom-breakers of the English midlands into front ranks of a world, polyglot, many-colored workforce of commoners resisting dispossession within the sunrise of capitalist modernity.

Extra resources for Ned Ludd & Queen Mab: Machine-Breaking, Romanticism, and the Several Commons of 1811-12

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V, 74—79) Priests, kings, and statesmen desolate society with war, sophistry, and commerce. , or the demons of Milton. “T he sordid lust o f s e lf ” prevailed, “All things are sold,” wrote Shelley. He anticipates a day when poverty and w ealth, dis­ ease, war, and fame shall pass and Man shall stand am ong the creatures as “An equal amidst equals”: woman and man equal and free: palaces ruins: prisons children’s playgrounds. “Learn to make others happy,” he advised. Shelley also takes the com modity form of wealth and says that trade or commerce (“the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange”) is not inherent in human nature.

Thom pson’s indispensable chapter on the Luddites stresses the Irish in Lancashire it otherwise rigorously keeps the focus upon the English context with two rhetorical exceptions when he compares their clandestine organization to extra-English, non-Anglo themes. Once it is to W 35. John D. Hunter, M em oirs o f a C aptivity A m ong the Indians o f North A m erica (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1824), 257-58. ” His fig u res o f speech can help us if w e treat them not as figures but suggestions, because they enable us to expand the range by adding to the insular lens an A tlantic optic.

Down was apprehended. W illiam s lodged at the Pear T ree in Old W apping. a. “L ong B illy,” born in D anzig. T h e y sailed from R io de Jan eiro to D em arara, Surinam , where the crew m utinied. 48 D ivine Serv ice on C hristm as D ay in G reenwich was interrupted by the alarm drum b eatin g to arm s. R iv er fencibles (soldiers liable for defensive service o n ly) repaired to their post to do their duty. W as it another assassin or had the French invaded? A large p arty o f Irish had been drinkin g and fell into faction figh tin g.

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