Blasphemy, Culture, and Literature in Nineteenth-Century England
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of Pages: 362
Width: 16.7 cm
Height: 23.1 cm
In 1883 the editor of a penny newspaper stood trial three times for the "obsolete" crime of blasphemy. The editor was G.W. Foote, the paper was the "Freethinker", and the trial was the defining event of the decade. This is a reconstructed account of blasphemy in Victorian England, retelling the forgotten stories of more than 200 working-class blasphemers, such as Foote, whose stubborn refusal to silence their "hooligan" voices helped secure the present right to speak and write freely, and whose "martyrdom" transformed blasphemy from a religious offence into a class and cultural crime.