Alsatia

The idea is simple enough: to investigate the area of London known as Alsatia, and other similar ‘outlaw’ areas, their history, context and meanings. There are many tantalising references, but nothing substantial on the subject, so it offers challenges and rewards. Of course, I could just do some searching, some reading, and perhaps write an article or suchlike. But keeping track of all the fragments, questions and resonances requires some organization, and that in turn requires some tools. ... […]

James Connolly Songs of Freedom

armageddon
With Mat Callahan, Clayton Blizzard and Commander McNeil. Singer/songwriter Matt Callahan performs Songs of Freedom, a celebration of the life and work of James Connolly, the Irish revolutionary socialist who participated in the Dublin Lockout of 1913 and was martyred by the British government for his role in the Easter Rising of 1916. Connolly's role in both events was of crucial importance making it especially important that his collection Songs of Freedom, originally published in 1907 and […]

Unfinished Business

Thomas Venner and the Fifth Monarchists Insurrection (6th January 1661) Some members of BRHG, 'The James Nayler Brigade' travelled to London on Sunday to support our comrade 5th Monarchists and Muggletonians. Armed with hatchets and a pike (which we had buried some years ago in readiness for the reimposition of the satanic monarchy) we helped storm the Guild Hall and St. Paul's in celebration of the 5th Monarchist rising against the return of the King on 6th january 1661. One of the leaders of […]

Havoc In Its Third Year

By Ronan Bennett
Havoc in its Third Year is Bennett’s third novel. It is set the 1630s in the period leading up to the English civil wara town in northern England which had recently removed a corrupt and tyrannical local aristocrat, only then to be ruled by a new repressive puritanical regime. Bennett is a writer of deep political conviction and this novel deals with universal themes, in particular the corrupting forces of power, fear of the outsider and the destitute and the nature of moral and political […]

Pure

By Andrew Miller
Bristol writer Andrew Miller’s sixth novel and deservedly won the 2011 Costa Book of the Year. It is 1785 and France is on the brink of revolution as the old order is about to be swept away. Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young engineer of humble background, is ordered to exhume the vast and ancient cemetery of Les Innocents in the poor Parisian quarter of Les Halles and demolish its church. Baratte, ambitious and forward thinking, “a disciple of Voltaire,” dreams of building utopias and as a man of […]

The Struggle Site

A website that has a lot of infomation about anarchism and some history pamphlets. For the first decade or so of the web the struggle site provided a home for pages concerned with the struggle for freedom. This included social struggles in Ireland; the Zapatistas, Irish history, anarchist theory and history, globalisation and many others. In 2004 there were over 5,000 documents and images on this site.

Thomas Spence The Forgotten Revolutionary

Thomas Spence was one of the leading English revolutionaries of the late 18th Century. His tracts, such as The Rights of Man (Spence was, perhaps, the first to use the phrase) and The Rights of Infants, along with his utopian visions of 'Crusonia' and 'Spensonia', were the most far-reaching radical statements of the period. Although sometimes hailed as England's 'first modern socialist', Spence is not easily corralled by later ideologies. He was a mortal enemy of tyranny and what he called […]

Why History Matters… Why Radical History Matters More… Part 1

A series of lectures, presentations and discussion presented by Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) emphasising the importance and relevance of radical history. Using a diverse series of historical case studies the speakers will demonstrate the various interventions BRHG have made into their local and national histories including: uncovering hidden histories challenging established narratives questioning previous generations of 'radical history' linking new narratives and critiques with current […]

English Republicanism

Radicalism, Monarchy And The Lost Liberties Of Anglo-Saxon Egland 1790-1820 - Steve Poole Although the English Jacobins of the 1790s were frequently characterised by their enemies as Republican followers of Tom Paine, in reality many of them could only commit to following Paine so far. The Rights of Man were all very well as long as they could be advocated without dumping long standing and cherished beliefs in an anglo-saxon golden age of elected chieftans and voluntary association - historical […]

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 other massively subversive book, Age of Reason (1795), a study in ‘infidel’ […]