Chartist Lecture 2008 Merthyr


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The First Annual Chartist Lecture

Deference in Dowlais?
Lady Charlotte Guest and the Chartists

A Public Lecture by 
Professor Angela V. John

Merthyr Tydfil Central Library, 15 Oct 2008

Press Release | 1 Oct 2008

  • THE MERTHYR CHARTIST FORUM pesents The First Annual Chartist Lecture
  • Wednesday 15 October, 7 PM, Merthyr Tydfil Central Library 
  • Free entry - to book tel.  01685 377883

Deference in Dowlais? Lady Charlotte Guest and the Chartists | A Public Lecture by Professor Angela V. John

THE MERTHYR CHARTIST FORUM's First Annual Chartist Lecture will be given by Dr. Angela V. John, the celebrated Welsh social historian, who is an honorary Professor at Aberystwyth university. 

  • In her lecture, Professor John will bring together two contending elements from her past academic studies, both of which relate to the history of Merthyr – the lives and politics of working class people and the private and public life of Lady Guest.
  • As a young postgraduate student at Swansea, Professor John researched Welsh Chartism and at the age of 22 published a ‘history from below’ study that identified Merthyr as the political centre of this movement in Wales. To this day, her work remains the essential starting point for all who delve into Merthyr’s Chartist story. She went on to pioneer the writing of working class women’s history, publishing in 1980 a ground breaking book about Victorian women employed in coal mining called ‘By the Sweat of Their Brow’.
  • In recent years, she has become a highly praised biographer, blending the telling of a personal life story with detailed revelation of ‘the time’. Last year saw publication of the paper back edition of ‘Lady Charlotte Guest: an extraordinary life” (co-authored with Revel Guest). This is a work that combines erudite research with a spell binding story telling technique.

Professor John grew up in Port Talbot. After 30 years teaching at universities in England, she retired from her professorship at the University of Greenwich and returned to live in north Pembrokeshire. A long standing member, now Vice-President, of Llafur (Welsh People’s History Society), she is busily engaged in renewing public interest in the history of working class culture and politics.

THE MERTHYR CHARTIST FORUM | The Annual Chartist Lecture

The newly formed MERTHYR CHARTIST FORUM plans to invite each year a speaker, who can offer fresh ideas about the Chartist era. The Chartists were early Victorian campaigners for democracy, when working people were totally excluded from the political voting system.

Les James, on behalf of HERIAN, the south Wales heritage tourism organisation that is promoting the region’s Chartist story, welcomed the MERTHYR CHARTIST FORUM's initiative in setting up the Annual Chartist Lecture:

“This public lecture is a great idea. It puts Merthyr at the forefront of the celebrations that are planned over the next year to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the SOUTH WALES CHARTIST RISING. Its going to be fascinating to hear how Professor Angela John thinks political ideas moved up and down between the social classes in the time of the Chartists.”

 [ jw_2_Oct_08 ]