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Picture of 1848


The Year the World Turned?

Editor(s): Kay Boardman, Christine Kinealy

Book Description

As Terry Eagleton suggests in his Foreword, the year 1848 has taken on a historical significance – not to mention a mythical quality - which few other dates have attained. Yet, according to some scholars, it was a year in which the world failed to turn. Or did it?

No history of 1848 can avoid looking at the significance and ramifications of the revolutions in France, Italy, Germany and Hungary, but this publication also gives consideration to places and perspectives that have traditionally been given little attention, such as Spain, Russia, Finland, Ireland, Britain and Australia. It also looks at groups who are sometimes invisible in the main narratives: Irish Protestants; Austrian Jews; and the ‘Specials’ in England. Additionally, it asks: what were the longer-term repercussions of these events throughout the century and throughout the world?

While political and social upheaval was important, other significant changes were taking place. The social and economic discontent that triggered the various uprisings, combined with an intellectual ferment that found an outlet in literature and other forms of creative expression. Writers, artists and commentators were as attracted as they were repelled by the events of 1848, by the sense of living at a particular time; consequently, a number of chapters focus on poetry, fiction, periodicals, and visual material associated with this year. From a gender perspective, 1848 offers some interesting findings. A number of chapters focus on women’s views and experiences of the Year of Revolution, and not surprisingly they suggest a range of viewpoints. Attention is also given to Ireland, especially the key role that women played in the emergence of cultural nationalism.

The central theme of this collection is: did the world turn as a result of the revolutions of 1848? If so, in what ways; but if not, why not? To answer these and other questions, this publication brings together new research from a wide range of scholars, including those of international renown to newer voices, from a wide variety of disciplines, all applying a diverse array of methods and approaches. By combining a broad approach to the period in question in terms of disciplines, methodologies and new syntheses, unexpected insights are offered into a familiar setting. It thus provides a unique insight into this year in both international and interdisciplinary terms.


ISBN-13: 978-1-8471-8198-5
ISBN-10: 1-84718-198-8
Date of Publication: 01/06/2007
Pages / Size: 270 / A5
Price: £39.99


The editors, Dr Kay Boardman and Professor Christine Kinealy, are colleagues in the Department of Humanities in the University of Central Lancashire. They share a mutual interest in Victorian Studies, albeit from different perspectives and disciplines. Dr Boardman is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature, whose publications include the co-edited Popular Victorian Women Writers (2004). She is also co-editor of Victorian Women’s Magazines: An Anthology (2001), both published by Manchester University Press (MUP), and has written many articles on the periodical press. Professor Kinealy has published extensively on the Great Famine in Ireland, including This Great Calamity. The Irish Famine 1845-52 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1994, re-issued with a new Introduction in 2006). She is currently completing a book on 1848 in Ireland, to be published by MUP in 2008.