Laboring-Class Poets at Work, 1700-1900

Project: Research project

Project Details


This book-length study will examine the work of the approximately 1,650 laboring-class poets publishing in Great Britain and Ireland between 1700 and 1900. Each chapter will examine the poets grouped according to their primary non-poetical occupation, as this was a significant dimension of their self-representation in their writing. Chapter One focuses on the largest occupation for laboring-poets, weaving, particularly those from the area of Scotland around Paisley. Chapter Two discusses the work of shoemaker poets, often the most political of the subgroup of laboring-class poets. Miner poets and their distinctive use of dialect in poetry are the subject of Chapter Three. In Chapter Four, servant-poets, particular women writers is the theme, with an emphasis on women's religious verse. Chapter Five discusses laboring-class poetry in a transatlantic context by examining the contributions of sailor-poets. The conclusion traces shifts in laboring-class culture in the early 20th century.
Effective start/end date5/1/126/30/12


  • National Endowment for the Humanities: $6,000.00


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