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The editors of this festschrift have taken one of John Savile’s major interests – the history of the British labour movement – as their theme. In particular they have concentrated on the role of ideology within that movement in the period between 1800 and 1950. As they note in the introduction, by ideology they understand a scheme of ideas which support a particular political or economic theory or system.
One of the concerns of the authors is to show that an ideology in such terms has never won the adherence of the working class as a whole, and the reasons and results of this lack of ideology are explored in a variety of ways. The powerful labour and socialist movement which became established in Britain is also examined, as are its relations with the different ideologies of particular groups within the movement.
The essays are as follows:
Labour and the Literate in Nineteenth Century Britain – Victor Kiernan
The Language of the “Mass” and “Masses” in Nineteenth Century England – Asa Briggs
Conservatism, Traditionalism and the British Working Class 1880 -1918 – Alan J Lee
Working Class Women and Matrimonial Law Reform 1890 – 1914 – Iris Minor
“The Instruments of the People”?:The Parliamentary Labour Party in 1906 – David E. Martin
The Ladder of Becoming: A.R. Orage, A J Penty and the Origins of Guild Socialism in England – Frank Matthews
The Nationalisation of the Banks: The Chequered History Of A Socialist Proposal – Sidney Pollard
The Labour Movement Between The Wars – Margaret Cole
Socialism and the Labour Party: The Labour Left and Domestic Policy 1945 – 1950