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Title:On Wings of Everlasting Power: G. W. M. Reynolds and "Reynolds's Newspaper", 1848-1876
Author(s):Shirley, Michael H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Arnstein, Walter L.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, English
Abstract:George William McArthur Reynolds, novelist, republican, Chartist leader, and founder and editor of Reynolds's Newspaper, was at the intellectual and rhetorical center of much of working-class radical, political, and social thought in mid-Victorian England. Structuring his political ideas on a melodramatic model, he argued that the aristocracy and monarchy had molded society so that the natural republican form of government, which he identified with "true Christianity", could not arise. Rejecting violent revolution, he urged the disenfranchised working classes to agitate for reform. He and his newspaper maintained a consistently republican political philosophy throughout his tenure as editor, interpreting political, economic, and legal news in light of that philosophy. Although he accepted that some of the woes of the working classes were based in their economically disadvantaged state, and that the rising middle classes exploited the working classes for their own ends, he argued that it was the political and social degradation of the working classes which was responsible for their economic state, not the other way around. In all of his rhetoric, he used a subtext of "diffusive Christianity" to infuse a sense of moral righteousness in his readers; this non-dogmatic Christian ethic resonated with the radical working classes. Despite what some historians have argued, his was a genuine radicalism.
Issue Date:1997
Description:241 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9717333
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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