Victorian Radicals and Italian Democrats

Victorian Radicals and Italian Democrats

by Marcella Pellegrino Sutcliffe


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This book provides powerful new insights into the history of Italy's long Risorgimento, by tracing the entanglements of the Mazzinian "international". This informal group of men and women crossed the boundary of the Channel and the boundary of class to speak a common language and share a radical ideal: Giuseppe Mazzini's vision of a unified, republican Italy. Published in the radical press, the exile's writings on democracy, education, association and citizenship inspired both Oxford social reformers and self-improving artisans gathering in provincial reading rooms, co-operative societies, republican clubs and educational institutes: for them republican Italy became a transnational dream. Indeed, when Italy was unified under a constitutional monarch in 1861, British Mazzinians were bitterly disappointed. Setting off for Italy on their first "co-operative tour" in 1888, East London workers embarked on an educational pilgrimage, dotted with Mazzinian landmarks. Despite the fin de sicle crisis, Victorian radicals' enduring faith in Italy's democratic future remained steadfast. Indeed, when Fascists subsequently appropriated Mazzini's national dream, post-Victorian Mazzinians would unequivocally voice their support for Italian anti-Fascists, who championed the principles of global democracy. Drawing on a wide range of material, the author adds a crucial new dimension to the history of Victorian radicalism in Britain, and to the "new history of the Risorgimento".

Marcella Pellegrino Sutcliffe is a Research Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780861933228
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 05/15/2014
Series: Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Mazzini amongst Chartists and Early Co-operators, 1837-1848
'Joseph Mazzini': Learning and Living his Mission, 1849-1851
Victorian Mazzinians and Italian Democrats: Defections and Loyalties, 1850-1860
English Republicans, Liberal Italy and the Monarchical Turn, 1860-1872
Education, Democracy and International Policy: the Legacy of Exile, 1870-1882
'Co-operative Tours' as Transnational Education of Citizens, 1886-1890

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