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People, Places and IdentitiesThemes in British Social and Cultural History, 1700s-1980s$
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Alan Kidd and Melanie Tebbutt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090356

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090356.001.0001

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Daddy, what did you find to laugh about in the Great War? The cotton cartoons of Sam Fitton

Daddy, what did you find to laugh about in the Great War? The cotton cartoons of Sam Fitton

(p.109) 5 Daddy, what did you find to laugh about in the Great War? The cotton cartoons of Sam Fitton
People, Places and Identities

Alan Fowler

Manchester University Press

A source of historical evidence whose value has attracted greater attention in recent years is the newspaper cartoon, which Alan Fowler draws on in his essay on the Lancashire writer and comic performer, Sam Fitton, a popular cartoonist on the Cotton Factory Times, the weekly newspaper of Lancashire cotton operatives, published between 1907 and 1917. Fitton’s work has been largely overlooked by historians and Fowler makes a valuable contribution to the biographical scholarship on British cartoonists, using Fitton’s cartoons on the home front to explore a neglected aspect of World War One history, the conditions and preoccupations of Lancashire cotton workers. Fowler places these within the broader context of the Lancashire cotton industry with which Fitton, himself a cotton worker, was very familiar, and draws attention to the richness of these cartoons as a regional source whose evocation of a sense of belonging and place among its Lancashire readers was very different from the civic pride exemplified by the local history societies and public statuary of the Victorian period, on which Kidd and Wyke focus.

Keywords:   Newspaper cartoons, First World War, Sam Fitton, Lancashire cotton industry

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