FICTION & POETRY
Although not directly related to Peterloo,the following may be of interest to the reader.
In his call for freedom, it is perhaps the first modern statement of the principle of nonviolent resistance.
THE MASQUE OF ANARCHY P. B. Shelley 1819. Published by HardPress. 9781290338752
Set in Manchester in 1805, a historical saga about a young woman who rises from poverty to become the President of the female union of the factory where she works. When she meets the leader of the Anti-Reform League, who is against all she stands for, she finds herself attracted to him.
PETERLOO SHADOWS, Joyce Bentley 1995. Severn House Publishers Ltd. 0-7278-4818-6
Joyce Bentley was born and bred in Manchester. She is a tutor for The Open College North West.
This book presents a collection of poems and songs written in the immediate aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre in 1819. It is the first anthology of its kind, and includes over seventy poems, originally published as broadsides, or in radical periodicals such as the moderate Examiner and the ultra-radical Medusa, with many from the most prolific publisher of Peterloo verse, the Manchester Observer. Although the reading of the texts is supported by headnotes and footnotes, the poems are allowed to stand alone, in order to convey as much of the original publication as possible, and to preserve their authenticity.
Following an introduction outlining the events before, during and after the massacre, as well as background information on the radical press and broadside ballad, the poems are grouped into six thematic sections. Grouped in this manner, rather than chronologically or by publication, one cannot avoid the similarities between the poems, from the repeated images of brutalised women to numerous exhortations to rise and avenge the slaughter. The poems and songs which tumbled onto the pages of newspapers, journals and broadsides in the ensuing weeks and months convey the range of emotions felt by a downtrodden people: rage, grief, righteousness and vengeance. Through poetry and song, they sought and continue to seek to commemorate and condemn, arouse and avenge, their power undimmed.
BALLADS AND SONGS OF PETERLOO Alison Morgan 2018 Manchester University Press 978 - 1 - 7849 - 9312 - 2
The Revd Dr Alison Morgan was born in London, studied languages at Cambridge University and was awarded a PhD for her work on the poet Dante.
When Adam Ayesthorpe found the girl on his door step he had no idea how much influence she would have upon his family life.
She had come from St Peter’s Field after the Manchester Yeomanry had viciously broken up a peaceful political meeting. The incident came to be known as Peterloo but the girl remembered nothing of it, not even her given name.
They named her Sarah. Sarah who was adored by one man, desired by another and respected by a third but detested by the only man she had ever loved.
Manchester was changing rapidly from pleasant country town to one of bustling industrialisation, a town taking upon itself a new style, a fresh social order of Merchants and Manufacturers.
Sarah moved easily through the emerging society becoming a respectable wife and mother and though forced into marriage with the severe and unhappy Josiah Ayesthorpe it is some long time before she discovers the reason for his hatred of her.
Secure at last in her identity, discovering the tragic reason for her loss of memory and finding her family, she finds within herself sufficient courage to make the ultimate sacrifice . . .
THE PETERLOO WEAVER Margaret Blake 1980. (Re-published by Endeavour Media 2018) 0 - 7091 - 8032 - 2
Margaret Blake has a love of history, which drew her to writing historical romances. For information visit .
Josiah and Sarah Ayesthorpe have been married for over twenty years. Their son Adam has been ordered from the family home by his father, their daughter Maureen is involved in a secret relationship with a man her parents could never approve of.
It is the time come to be known as the hungry forties; the town is crippled by strikes, hunger and destitution are rife, but so is courage.
Courage in the form of Jane Marsden who wants more from life than her situation promises and courage too in the form of Richard Jones a foreigner to Manchester come to make his way and knowing that the only way he is going to succeed is by hard manual work.
The Peterloo Inheritance is the moving sequel to The Peterloo Weaver.
THE PETERLOO INHERITANCE Margaret Blake 2018 Endeavour Media ASIN B07D9NCXLM
In early nineteenth-century England the son of a weaver becomes enmeshed in the struggle of the weavers against the mill owners, who are bringing in machine-driven looms.
It was 1819. Daniel and his weaver father, a leader of the radical group of labourers called The Black Lamp, had marched to Manchester to protest the inhuman life that was forced on them by the new machinery - the machinery that threw skilled men out of work and made whimpering slaves of those it hired, the machinery that kept weeping children slaving far into every dark night.
But coarse, cruel Cranley, at whose mill young Daniel worked would stand for no opposition from their workers, and so the cavalry was brought in...
THE BLACK LAMP. Peter Carter 1973 Thomas Nelson Inc. 978-0192713568
Manchester 1819: Prices are high and wages are low, but as the poor become poorer, the rich are alarmed by their calls for reform.
Mill-worker Nancy Kay struggles to support her ailing mother and sensitive son. Desperate to provide for them, she is inspired to join the growing agitation. But, as she risks everything to attend a great assembly on St Peter's Field, Nancy is unaware the day will go down in history, not as a triumph but as tragedy; The Peterloo Massacre.
This is one woman's story of belief in change, pieced together by her family and friends and the two men who share her momentous summer. A story of hope, and sacrifice, and above all, courage.
THE SONG OF PETERLOO. Carolyn O'Brien - 2019 Legend Press 1789550750
Carolyn was born and brought up in Manchester and studied English at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge before qualifying as a solicitor. Her short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies, magazines and on-line. The Song of Peterloo is her debut novel.
THE MANCHESTER MAN - Mrs G Linnaeus Banks (Isabella Banks)
The Manchester Man, first serialised in Cassell's Magazine before being published in three volumes in 1876, became Isabella Banks' most lasting achievement. It is considered to be an important social and historical novel, charting the rise of Jabez Clegg, the eponymous "Manchester Man", from the time of the Napoleonic Wars to the first Reform Act.
His personal fortunes, from the near tragic snatch of his crib from the River Irk, create a tale of romance and melodrama, his life from apprentice to master and from poverty to wealth, mirroring the growth and prosperity of the city. This is achieved in a politico-historical setting, with vivid accounts of the Peterloo Massacre or Manchester Massacre of 1819 and the Corn-Law riots (the Anti-Corn Law League was formed in Manchester in 1838).
In 1896, the year before she died, a well-illustrated edition of The Manchester Man was published with forty-six plates and three maps.
The book is still read throughout the world (following republication in 1991 and again in 1998), and its heroes, Jabez Clegg and Joshua Brooks, are commemorated locally in the names of Manchester public houses.
A quotation from the novel ('Mutability is the epitaph of worlds / Change alone is changeless / People drop out of the history of a life as of a land though their work or their influence remains') forms the epitaph on the tombstone of Tony Wilson, one of the founders of Factory Records in Manchester.
Thomas Hatfield decided that a farmer's life wasn't for him and decided to join his local regiment, the Lancashire Light Foot.
Soon he was plunged into the tumultuous events of the Napoleonic Wars. He was sickened by the villainy of a crooked
sergeant and his cronies, in addition to the threat from the opposing French army at the battle of Waterloo.
After the massacre at St. Peter's Field, Manchester - which became known as 'Peterloo' - the young man wondered if
a life in England was what he really wanted..