Peterloo: the story of the Manchester massacre

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51H5FesIaHL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Peterloo: the story of the Manchester massacre

25.00

Manchester, 1819: on a hot August day a crowd of 60,000 gathered to demand electoral reform. They came from all over rural Lancashire, walking to the sound of hymns and folk songs played by church bands. By the end of the day 15 of them, including two women and a child, were dead, and 650 injured, hacked down by drunken yeomen after local magistrates panicked at the size of the crowd. The event lasted just half an hour, but its effects echo down the centuries: the British state, four years after the defeat of the tyrant Bonaparte at Waterloo, had turned its forces against its own people as they peaceably exercised their time-honoured liberties.

Jackie Riding tells the story of the massacre through the experiences, accounts and letters of a group of individuals who witnessed it. She looks at the repression and agitation that followed Peterloo, up to the passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832, and assesses the long-term impact of the terrible events of 16 August 1819. The book ties in to Mike Leigh's forthcoming film Peterloo, likely to be released in late autumn 2018, in advance of the bicentenary of Peterloo in August 2019.

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

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