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Commemorating PeterlooViolence, Resilience, and Claim-making during the Romantic Era$
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Michael Demson and Regina Hewitt

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474428569

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474428569.001.0001

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William Cobbett, ‘Resurrection Man’: The Peterloo Massacre and the Bones of Tom Paine

William Cobbett, ‘Resurrection Man’: The Peterloo Massacre and the Bones of Tom Paine

(p.183) Chapter 8 William Cobbett, ‘Resurrection Man’: The Peterloo Massacre and the Bones of Tom Paine
Commemorating Peterloo

Katey Castellano

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses William Cobbett's relationship to the Peterloo Massacre. First, it examines Cobbett's 'To the Journeymen and Labourers' (1816), a cheap, mass-produced pamphlet that provoked working-class discontent before Peterloo. Second, the chapter analyzes Cobbett's reaction to the Peterloo Massacre while he was self-exiled in America. Cobbett exhumed Thomas Paine's body and then brought it back to England in order to establish a memorial for a 'noble' of the working-class. The chapter argues that Cobbett believed that Peterloo occurred because of the rhetorical rendering of the poor as an animalized 'surplus population,' and both 'To the Journeymen and Labourers' and his post-Peterloo project for Paine's memorial sought to the counter the marginalization of the working class by insisting that they were connected to intergenerational traditions and monuments beyond their animal bodies.

Keywords:   Cobbett, William, Paine, Thomas, labouring-class writers, transatlantic, America, memorials, Political Register, Peterloo

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