Poetry and Popular Protest is an international hit

Published: 23 August 2012 at 14:37

Latest book by Anglia Ruskin academic is in the running for two prestigious awards

Dr John Gardner, Principal Lecturer in English Literature at Anglia Ruskin University, is celebrating the success of his internationally acclaimed new book.

Poetry and Popular Protest: Peterloo, Cato Street and the Queen Caroline Controversy focuses on the years immediately following the Napoleonic wars (1815-1822).

The book provides new information on the great Romantic poets such as Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, anonymous poets, pamphleteers, balladeers and ‘publishing pirates’; and focuses on their relationship with contemporary political events.

Poetry and Popular Protest has been shortlisted for a European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) Book Award and also nominated for the James Russell Lowell Prize.  The ESSE awards will be announced at the 11th ESSE Conference in Istanbul in September, while the James Russell Lowell Prize will be presented at the Modern Language Association’s annual convention in Boston in January 2013

Dr Gardner said:

Poetry and Popular Protest examines the importance of poetry in the early nineteenth-century, when Britain was close to having a revolution.  At that time few had access to representation, with about 5% of the population being eligible to vote, and, driven to the edge by poverty and government-sanctioned violence, people looked towards ways that their voices could be heard. 
“My book argues that poetry, with its ability to compress complex ideas, and its capacity for easy and cheap transmission – even to people who were illiterate – became a key way that political ideas could be spread, whether this was by well-known poets, such as Shelley and Byron, or anonymous poets who would publish their poems in newspapers.
“Anglia Ruskin has been very supportive of my research.  I am delighted and honoured that my book is being considered for these prestigious awards, and by the response that I have had from readers and reviewers.”