19th century black and white print of mill workers

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Online Talk: Mary Barton and the Year of Revolutions: ‘John Barton became a Chartist, a Communist’

Elizabeth Gaskell’s debut novel Mary Barton (1848) is recognised as one of the most important Victorian works to explore the working class Chartist movement, in this case through the character of Mary’s father, John Barton. Chartism was a working class movement demanding political reform. Elizabeth Gaskell made these radical politics the backdrop to her story of love and action adventure in Manchester.

Book illustration of Mary Barton standing over her seated father, John Barton

Now popular speaker Prof Mike Sanders is back to reveal the historical truth behind the story. The novel was published just three years after Engels’ Condition of the Working Class in England (1845) and amidst rumours of revolution. How closely did Elizabeth reflect reality in her writing?

Perfect for anyone who wants to explore this classic novel including the reality of Manchester and the ‘hungry forties’.

Part of Mary Barton season

Tickets £5

It was absolutely superb – very informative and delivered with authority’ Visitor to previous online event with Prof Sanders

Wednesday 27 September, 7-8pm

The talk will be approx 45 mins long, with time for a short question session afterwards.

**Refer to your e-ticket for joining instructions and links. Please check your spam/junk mail for ticket. This talk will also be recorded and all ticketholders will receive a link to the recording via TicketSource after the event.**

You can also support the House by buying a copy of Mary Barton from our online shop via this link.

If you have any questions about this event, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is run by Manchester Historic Buildings Trust (charity no. 1080606) and all money gained through private tours, talks, room hire and ticket sales goes towards the ongoing maintenance and running costs of the House. If you would like to support the House with an additional donation you can do so via this link.

27th Sep 2023

7pm - 8pm

Talk, Talks

The interruptions of home life are never ending

Elizabeth Gaskell 1863