Peterloo: Witnesses to a Massacre


Peterloo: Witnesses to a Massacre

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The explosive tale of Peterloo, told ‘verbatim’ style through the voices of those who were there. More than 15 people died and 600 were severely wounded by sabre-wielding troops at a peaceful pro-democracy rally. This is a visual account of the 16 August, 1819 massacre, to be published as part of the 200th anniversary commemorations.

The Portico Library’s exhibition ‘Making the News: Reading between the lines, from Peterloo to Meskel Square’ runs from July 5th-September 23rd 2019.

The entire narrative is drawn exclusively from the direct testimony of the time much of it newly unearthed by leading historian Professor Robert Poole, including letters, memoirs, journalist’s accounts, spies’ reports and courtroom evidence. These have been carefully woven together into rich, vivid illustrations by professional cartoonist, illustrator and graphic novelist Polyp.

At a time when democracy is under siege the memory of Peterloo is all the more crucial, and challenges the reader to ask what we have done with the legacy passed on by those who died.

Polyp (Paul Fitzgerald) is a full-time political cartoonist. He is the author and illustrator of Speechless (a wordless world history), The Co-operative Revolution and Little Worm’s Big Question.

Robert Poole is author of Peterloo: the English Uprising (OUP, 1819) and consultant historian to the Peterloo 2019 anniversary programme. He is Professor of History at the University of Central Lancashire.Eva Schlunke is an artist, writer, activist and campaigner. She co-authored and illustrated Little Worm’s Big Question and was the key artist behind the mass-participation Peterloo public events of 2015/16.

396 pages

200 full-colour images

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