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The rural warCaptain Swing and the politics of protest$
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Carl J. Griffin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086267

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086267.001.0001

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Rough men, pleasant histories

Rough men, pleasant histories

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Rough men, pleasant histories
Source:
The rural war
Author(s):

Carl J. Griffin

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719086267.003.0002

This chapter examines the changing understandings of Swing, locating the arguments in terms of the historiographical evolutions in the study of rural history and popular protest. John and Barbara Hammonds' The Village Labourer in 1911 was the first archival analysis of Swing. Between 1911 and the publication of Hobsbawm and Rudé's Captain Swing in 1969, interest in Swing was sustained through a series of studies that built on the Hammonds' account, adding local depth and detail. The chapter concludes that in focusing on localised protests out of context of the wider evolution and diffusion of the movement, there is a danger of ignoring the fact that Swing was more than the sum of its local parts.

Keywords:   popular protest, rural history, Village Labourer, Captain Swing

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