A Towering Flame: The Life & Times of the Elusive Latvian Anarchist Peter the Painter by Philip Ruff

hosted by the Bristol Radical History Group
at the CUBE CINEMA, Dove Street South, Kingsdown, BRISTOL, BS2 8JD • Monday 3rd June, 2019, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm • £3/£4
the author, anarchist historian Philip Ruff, will present and talk about his book, followed by a Q&A and discussion
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advance copies of the book will be available on the night, signed by the author, at a discounted price for attendees
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for further information on the event see:
Bristol Radical History Group website
Cube Cinema website

Philip Ruff – A Towering Flame: The Life & Times of the Elusive Latvian Anarchist Peter the Painter
£17 / £25 • 284pp paperback / hardback • 156x234mm
ISBN 978-0-9929466-5-4 / ISBN 978-0-9929466-8-5
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David Worrall – Radical Culture: Discourse, Resistance and Surveillance, 1790-1820
£15.00 • 186pp paperback • 156x234mm
ISBN 978-0-9929466-4-7
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David Walsh – The Sons Of Belial: Protest and Community Change in the North-West, 1740-1770
£16.00 • 272pp paperback • 156x234mm
ISBN 978-0-9929466-9-2
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The Refiner’s Fire: The Collected Works of TheaurauJohn Tany
Annotated, edited and introduced by Ariel Hessayon

£25.00 Special price: £20.00 • 552pp paperback 156x234mm • ISBN 978-0-9570005-7-5
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‘Thomas Totney, the London goldsmith who became the prophet TheaurauJohn Tany, was one of the most extraordinary figures of the English Revolution. His visionary texts have been almost impenetrable to modern readers, steeped as they are in hermeticism, Behmenism, angelology, Pythagorean mysticism, numerology, alchemy, astrology, heraldry, and apocryphal scriptures. This exemplary edition — the product of more than two decades of research — makes sense of Tany and his writings by documenting his life, identifying his tracts and their reception, placing him among his contemporaries, and guiding readers through a forgotten intellectual world. It is a remarkable example of how meticulous historical scholarship can reconstruct the lives and explore the mentalities of our ancestors.’ John Coffey, Professor of Early Modern History, University of Leicester
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Thomas Spence: The Poor Man’s Revolutionary
£15.00 • 214pp paperback 156x234mm • ISBN 978-0-9570005-9-9
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2014 marked the 200th anniversary of the death of an important and original voice in the history of radicalism: Thomas Spence. Spence described himself as ‘the poor man’s advocate’ but he may equally be described as ‘the poor man’s revolutionary’, for what he advocated was a dramatic over-turning of the existing social order.
Spence wasn’t interested in compromise, with reforms and half-freedoms. He was stubborn. Contemporaries described him as ‘querulous’ and ‘single-minded’. One obituary also observed he was ‘despised’, yet ‘not despicable’.
He was an angry man, a revolutionary and an insurrectionist but he was anchored by humanitarian concerns and a wide-ranging, omnivorous, interest in the betterment of his fellows. In this book we hope to go some way in retrieving Spence, of bringing him before a new generation.
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Strikers, Hobblers, Conchies & Reds – A Radical History of Bristol, 1880-1939
£18.50 • 366pp paperback 156x234mm • ISBN 978-0-9929466-0-9
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In the 1970s and 80s a revival of interest emerged in researching Bristol’s vigorous radical past, reflected in the publications of the Bristol branch of the Historical Association and Bristol Broadsides. This revival has continued, echoed in the more recent historical studies that have advanced the work of filling in Bristol’s remarkable past — especially the involvement of the Bristol women’s movement in the nineteenth century in anti-slavery campaigns, social reform, and the struggle for the emancipation of women, developing into the suffrage movement — but gaps in our knowledge still exist. This collection of essays from members of the Bristol Radical History Group traces the relationship between labour struggles and the new ideas and practice of general unionism, socialism and anarchism in Bristol and the surrounding area from the late nineteenth century through to the 1930s.
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Catherine Howe – Halifax 1842: A Year of Crisis
Foreword by Stephen Roberts

£14.50 • 202pp paperback 156x234mm • ISBN 978-0-9570005-8-2
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This book discusses the early years of the Chartist struggle in Halifax, the clandestine meetings and nightly drilling, the determination, resilience and militancy of the local movement. But at the heart of the book lies a narrative of the dramatic events of 16 August 1842 which culminated in an attack on a military convoy taking prisoners to the railway station at Elland.

This is the story of a working class community that fought back against the ruling elite that inflicted upon it low wages, unemployment and near-starvation. It is the story of how working people united to demand a say in the law-making of the country. It is the story of Halifax in the West Riding in the summer of 1842.
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Victor Bailey – Charles Booth’s Policemen
Crime, Police and Community in Jack-the-Ripper’s London

£17.00 • 162pp paperback 140x216mm • 2 colour and 8 b/w images • ISBN 978-0-9570005-6-8
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What explains the law-abidingness of late Victorian England? A number of modern historians contend that the answer lies with the effectiveness of policing, and with the imposition of a ‘policeman-state’ in Victorian and Edwardian England.

Exploiting the vast archive that Charles Booth amassed for his leviathan social investigation to explore the social order of London’s East End, Life and Labour of the People in London, this volume takes issue with this answer. Read more…

Victor Bailey – Order and Disorder in Modern Britain
Essays on Riot, Crime, Policing and Punishment

£15.00 • 214pp paperback 191x235mm • 5 b/w images • ISBN 978-0-9570005-5-1
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The pieces in this collection range from an account of the Skeleton Army riots against the Salvation Army in the early 1880s to the unsuccessful campaign to abolish the death penalty in the aftermath of the Second World War; essays on how the Home Office and Metropolitan Police responded to the unemployed riots in the West End of London in 1886 and the contest over the right to assemble in Trafalgar Square in 1887; on the complex relationship between the Salvation Army’s social scheme and the early labour movement; on the changing meanings inscribed within the term “dangerous and criminal classes”; and on English penal culture from the Gladstone Committee’s Report on Prisons (1895) to the Labour Research Department’s Prison System Enquiry Committee’s report, English Prisons Today (1922). Read more…

James Epstein – Radical Expression
Political Language, Ritual, and Symbol in England, 1790-1850

£15.00 • 220pp paperback 156x234mm
ISBN 978-0-9929466-2-3
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Exploring a set of related themes dealing with popular radical language, ideology, and communication in late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century England, Radical Expression re-examines the rhetoric of popular constitutionalism and the associated repertoire of constitutionalist mobilization.
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James Epstein – The Lion of Freedom
Feargus O’Connor and the Chartist Movement, 1832-1842

£17.00 • 298pp paperback 156x234mm
ISBN 978-0-9929466-1-6
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This book offers an evaluation of the political leadership of Feargus O’Connor, the most prominent leader of the Chartist movement. Not simply a political biography of O’Connor, this book offers a general history of Chartism and provides an interpretive framework for understanding this complex political movement.
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Roger Wells – Insurrection
The British Experience 1795-1803

£17.50 • 372pp paperback 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9564827-3-0
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On the 16 November 1802 a posse of Bow Street Runners raided the Oakley Arms, a working class pub in Lambeth, on the orders of the Home Office. Over thirty men were arrested, among them, and the only one of any social rank, Colonel Edward Marcus Despard. Despard and twelve of his associates were subsequently tried for high treason before a Special Commission, and Despard and six others were executed on 21 February 1803. It was alleged that they had planned to kill the King, seize London and overturn the government and constitution.
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Roger Wells – Wretched Faces
Famine in Wartime England 1793-1801

£18.00 • 410pp paperback 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9564827-4-7
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“The history of riots reaches its full maturity when riots break out of monographic case studies to be incorporated into full histories. Roger Wells includes riot as one dimension of his rich attempt to comprehend the whole range of responses of British society to the famines of 1794-96 and 1799-1801. These famines dramatically revealed the fragile equilibrium underpinning national subsistence, and its propensity to collapse. Wells explains how and why the archaic structure of state and society in Britain did just manage not to collapse.”
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E. P. Thompson – Whigs and Hunters
The Origin of the Black Act

£16.00 • 276pp paperback 156x234mm
£30.00 £23.00 • 276pp hardback 156x234mm
ISBN 978-0-9570005-2-0 / 978-0-9929466-6-1
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With Whigs and Hunters, the author of The Making of the English Working Class, E. P. Thompson plunged into the murky waters of the early eighteenth century to chart the violently conflicting currents that boiled beneath the apparent calm of the time. The subject is the Black Act, a law of unprecedented savagery passed by Parliament in 1723 to deal with ‘wicked and evil-disposed men going armed in disguise’. These men were pillaging the royal forest of deer, conducting a running battle against the forest officers with blackmail, threats and violence.
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Dorothy Thompson – The Chartists
Popular Politics in the Industrial Revolution

£16.00 • 280pp paperback 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9570005-3-7
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The Chartists is a major contribution to our understanding not just of Chartism but of the whole experience of working-class people in mid-nineteenth century Britain. The book looks at who the Chartists were, what they hoped for from the political power they strove to gain, and why so many of them felt driven toward the use of physical force. It also studies the reactions of the middle and upper classes and the ways in which the two sides — radical and establishment — influenced each other’s positions.
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Nigel Costley – West Country Rebels
Foreword by Tony Benn
£20.00 • 220pp full colour illustrated paperback 216x216mm • ISBN 978-0-9570005-4-4

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What comes to mind when you think of the West Country? Beautiful beaches and coastline perhaps, rich countryside and moorland, great historic sites such as Stonehenge or perhaps the grace of Regency Bath or the stunning design of Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge? You may think of the West Country as the peaceful, quiet corner of Britain where people visit for holidays or spend their retirement.

What may not spring to mind is the Western Rebellion against enclosures, the bloody battles for fair taxes, the Prayer Book Rebellion against an imposed English Bible, the turbulent years of the Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion that ended with the ruthless revenge of Judge Jefferies. You may know little about the radical edge to the region’s maritime past such as the naval mutinies, smuggling and struggle for safety. Read more…

Malcolm Chase – Early Trade Unionism
Fraternity, Skill and the Politics of Labour

£14.00 • 248pp paperback 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9570005-1-3
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Once the heartland of British labour history, trade unionism has been marginalised in much recent scholarship. In a critical survey from the earliest times to the nineteenth century, this book argues for its reinstatement. Trade unionism is shown to be both intrinsically important and to provide a window onto the broader historical landscape; the evolution of trade union principles and practices is traced from the seventeenth century to mid-Victorian times.
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Malcolm Chase – The People’s Farm
English Radical Agrarianism 1775-1840

£12.00 • 212pp paperback 152x229mm
ISBN 978-0-9564827-5-4
With a new preface
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This book traces the development of agrarian ideas from the 1770s through to Chartism, and seeks to explain why, in an era of industrialization and urban growth, land remained one of the major issues in popular politics. Malcolm Chase considers the relationship between ‘land consciousness’ and early socialism; attempts to create alternative communities; and contemporary perceptions of nature and the environment. The People’s Farm also provides the most extensive study to date of Thomas Spence, and his followers the Spenceans.
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David Walsh – Making Angels in Marble
The Conservatives, the Early Industrial Working Class and Attempts at Political Incorporation

£15.00 • 268pp paperback 191x235mm • ISBN 978-0-9570005-0-6

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In the first elections called under the terms of the 1832 Reform Act the Tory party appeared doomed. They had recorded their worst set of results in living memory and were organizationally in disarray as well, importantly, seemingly completely out of touch with the current political mood. During the intense pressure brought to bear by the supporters of political reform was the use of “pressure from without” and in this tactic the industrial working class were highly visible. Calls for political reform had been growing since the 1760s and given fresh impetus with the revolutions in America and France respectively. The old Tory party had been resistant to all but the most glaring corruption and abuse under the pre-Reform system, not least to the idea of extending the electoral franchise to the ‘swineish multitude’, as Edmund Burke notoriously described the working class. Yet within five years after the passing of reform the Conservatives — the natural heirs to the old Tory party — were attempting to politically incorporate sections of the working class into their ranks. This book examines how this process of making these ‘Angels in Marble’, to use Disraeli’s phrase from a later era, took shape in the 1830s. It focuses on how a section of the industrial working class became the target of organizational inclusion into Peelite Conservatism and ultimately into the British party political system. Read more…

John Belchem – ‘Orator’ Hunt
Henry Hunt and English Working Class Radicalism

£14.00 • 248pp paperback 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9564827-8-5
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In the early 19th century, Henry Hunt became one of the most stirring orators of English Radicalism. His speech following the “Peterloo” massacre cost him three years in prison and gave him a reputation for inciting the rabble to violence. This book considers his place in the radical movement.
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Ralph Anstis – Warren James and the Dean Forest Riots
The Disturbances of 1831

£14.00 • 242pp paperback 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9564827-7-8
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The full story of the riots in the Forest of Dean in 1831, and how they were suppressed, is told here for the first time.
Dominating the story is the enigmatic character of Warren James, the self-educated free miner who led the foresters in their attempt to stave off their increasing poverty and unemployment, and to protect their traditional way life from the threats of advancing industrial change.
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John E. Archer – ‘By a Flash and a Scare’
Arson, Animal Maiming, and Poaching in East Anglia 1815-1870

£15.00 • 208pp paperback 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9564827-1-6
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‘By a Flash and a Scare’ illuminates the darker side of rural life in the nineteenth century. Flashpoints such as the Swing riots, Tolpuddle, and the New Poor Law riots have long attracted the attention of historians, but here John E. Archer focuses on the persistent war waged in the countryside during the 1800s, analysing the prevailing climate of unrest, discontent, and desperation.
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Barry Reay – The Last Rising of the Agricultural Labourers
Rural Life and Protest in Nineteenth-Century England

£15.00 • 192pp paperback42 plates 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9564827-2-3
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The Hernhill Rising of 1838 was the last battle fought on English soil, the last revolt against the New Poor Law, and England’s last millenarian rising. The bloody ‘Battle of Bosenden Wood’, fought in a corner of rural Kent, was the culmination of a revolt led by the self-styled ‘Sir William Courtenay’. It was also, despite the greater fame of the 1830 Swing Riots, the last rising of the agricultural labourers.
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Buchanan Sharp – In Contempt of All Authority
Rural Artisans and Riot in the West of England, 1586-1660

£15.00 • 204pp paperback 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9564827-0-9
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Two of the most common types of popular disorders in late Tudor and early Stuart England were the food riots and the anti-enclosure riots in royal forests. Of particular interest are the forest riots known collectively as the Western Rising of 1626-1632, and the lesser known disorders in the Western forests which took place during the English Civil War. The central aims of this volume are to establish the social status of the people who engaged in those riots and to determine the social and economic conditions which produced the disorders.
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Bob Bushaway – By Rite
Custom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700-1880

£14.00 • 206pp paperback 191x235mm
ISBN 978-0-9564827-6-1
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Bringing together a wealth of research, this book explores the view that rural folk practices were a mechanism of social cohesion, and social disruption. Through them the interdependence of the rural working-class and the gentry was affirmed, and infringements of the rights of the poor resisted, sometimes aggressively.

By Rite represents the results of detailed research in a wide range of sources, including the local Press, Antiquarian and Field Studies papers, county journals, local collections and archives throughout England and Wales.
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Chris Fisher – Custom, Work & Market Capitalism
The Forest of Dean Colliers, 1788-1888

£14.00 • 198pp paperback 156x234mm
ISBN 978-0-9929466-7-8
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During the eighteenth century a community of ‘free’ miners grew up on Crown land in the Forest of Dean. Their right to live and work in this region was neither conferred by the Crown nor by private employers or landowners; it became, over the years, a customary right. During the nineteenth century the Crown began to erode customary rights existing on its land and replace it with forms of market capitalism such as those which sprang up in the private sector during this period.
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