Studio 1 & 2: Three British Anarchists in America

Miriam Daniell, William Bailie and Archibald Simpson 1890-1914

This talk examines the lives of three British migrants who became Individualist anarchists and part of the network around the journal Liberty. The Bristolian activist and poet, Miriam Daniell was a defiant free spirit who clashed fiercely with the basket maker and writer, William Bailie. Bailie later lived in a free union with her close friend from Bristol, Helena Born and wrote the first biography of America’s original anarchist, Josiah Warren. Bailie and Born’s friend, Archibald Simpson, a […]

History Walk 1: Edward Colston

Why is our city dominated by this man’s legacy?

Starting with St Mary Redcliffe church, this walk takes in other historic Diocese of Bristol churches in the city centre where 'the life and work' of Edward Colston is still provided religious legitimacy on an annual basis. Along the way we will share the most recent historical research regarding this man's involvement with the transatlantic slave trade and discover how the Victorian elite created a 'cult of Colston' that is now said to form part of our city's 'identity'. At our final stop, […]

Spectres Of Violence

Spectres Of Violence: Thomas Paine, George Cruikshank And The Age Of Reason The aim of this talk is to take a fresh look at the image of Britain’s first Public Enemy Number One: Thomas Paine. From the 1790s onwards, Paine’s political and religious writings symbolized everything that the British establishment feared about radical ideas and the rise of the ‘common’ reader. Paine ensured his terrorist credentials with the publication of the Rights of Man (1791-2), but this talk will focus on his […]

Bristol & The Revolutionary Atlantic

A Spot in Time: The Opposition between Terror and the Commons in the Perspective of the Atlantic Revolutions - Peter Linebaugh Was the coincidence on 2 April 1792 in the attempts to abolish the African slave trade and to make the English working class 'a spot of time', to paraphrase William Wordsworth, where vivifying virtue may restore our minds to the sense of right in the midst of fiercest strife, or instances of the perfidy of Albion, splitting the race of Man in twain? What role has the […]

The Cunard Yanks & GI Babes

Cunard Yanks Bristol premiere of a Cunard Yanks already shown in Liverpool and New York to popular aclaim. In the early 1950s young, white, Liverpool seamen who worked the Cunard Line, were sailing to New York. Although they did not know it at the time, they were to collide with the explosion of a new cultural scene in the U.S.A. This was the great migration of Afro-Americans to the northern states and the cities of Chicago, Detroit and New York which had brought new music, dance and fashion to […]

The Many Headed Hydra

Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic

By Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh
The Many Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic
Brilliant work charting the misunderstood and misrepresented history of the Atlantic proletariat during the rise of mercantile capitalism. Breaks out of the limits of the nation state set by previous social history and examines the struggles of slaves, sailors and commoners across the Atlantic from the old world to the new. (BRHG)

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Merchant Seamen, Pirates and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750

By Marcus Rediker
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea : Merchant Seamen, Pirates and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750
Rediker redefines the sailor as a worker afloat and shows how these working men resisted authority and work discipline, created their own maritime culture, language and religion and often turned to mutiny and piracy in a bid for freedom. (BRHG)

Villains of All Nations

Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age

By Marcus Rediker
Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age
Villains of All Nations explores the "Golden Age" of Atlantic piracy and the infamous generation whose images underlie our modern, romanticized view of pirates. Rediker focuses on the high seas drama of the years 1716-1726, which featured the dreaded black flag, the Jolly Roger; swashbuckling figures such as Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard; and the unnamed pegleg who was likely Robert Louis Stevenson's model for Long John Silver in Treasure Island. This novel interpretation shows how […]

Moby Dick

By Herman Melville
Classic novel of the search for vengeance by the maimed captain of a whaling vessel sailing from Nantucket on the east coast of the USA in the 1840's. It interest for us is the view that Melville gives us below decks amongst the harpooners and sailors. This 'motley crew' consists of native Americans, Polynesians and West Africans, amongst others, all jammed together in the whaling ship 'Pequod' for a dangerous three year (!) voyage. Melville who worked on similar ships has an empathy with these […]

The Life & Family of William Penn

260 Years of Bloody Colonial History

William Penn Front Cover
This booklet is a short analysis of the role of the Penn family and other early Quakers in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and European expansionism in the North Americas. As far as I am aware this story, the links between the different generations of the Penn family, has never before been told. It is pertinent to ask, “Why is this so?” The Penn family was at the heart of the English Revolution in the 17th Century and of every important event of British colonial expansionism from the colonisation […]

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