14. Laboring-Class Poetry in the Romantic Era

  1. Charles Mahoney Associate Professor of English
  1. Michael Scrivener Professor

Published Online: 3 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444390650.ch14

A Companion to Romantic Poetry

A Companion to Romantic Poetry

How to Cite

Scrivener, M. (2010) Laboring-Class Poetry in the Romantic Era, in A Companion to Romantic Poetry (ed C. Mahoney), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444390650.ch14

Editor Information

  1. University of Connecticut, USA

Author Information

  1. Wayne State University, Detroit, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2012
  2. Published Print: 26 NOV 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405135542

Online ISBN: 9781444390650



  • laboring-class poetry in the Romantic era;
  • laboring-class poetry, in terms of author-function - two different poetry emerging;
  • popular three-volume The Universal Songster - songs representing mimetically voice and language of laboring-class people of various ethnicities and geographical regions;
  • politically radical poetry from Spencean Songbook - periodicals like Politics for the People; or, a Salmagundy for Swine, and Luddite documents;
  • laboring-class poetry - author-centered ways of reading, validating, or inspiring cultural pride of laboring classes;
  • “big three” laboring-class notables - Pickering & Chatto, poets who wrote and published between 1780 and 1830;
  • calling Romantic-era poets like Burns, Bloomfield, and Clare “laboring-class” rather than plebeian – being convenient and practical;
  • ventriloquized laborers, in the Universal Songster collection - lyrical voices of Wordsworthian subjectivity nor balladic voices of political insurgency;
  • Wordsworth's turn to laboring class - a move rarely appreciated, participating in the same cultural movement as the Luddites


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • References and Further Reading