Showing posts from August, 2013

E. P. Thompson and a sense of place

I've just come back from a morning at the annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers. I was an interloping guest, as a historian, on a panel commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Making of the English Working Class. Chaired by Neil Gray, and speaking alongside Carl Griffin who spoke about Thompson's interpretation of Gramsci and its influence (or not) on historical geographers, and David Featherstone and Paul Griffin, who considered agency and the international influences of Thompson's work.

I append the long version of my paper below, but first I must remark on some of the things that struck me as a relative 'outsider' and newbie to a geography conference.
how vibrant and exciting many aspects of new geography seem;that many of the papers are essentially history or sociology, but are informed by a much greater knowledge and framework of theory and/or practical applications than equivalent history papers how more conscio…

London Corresponding Society pubs mapped

Ian Newman of UCLA runs a great blog on the pubs used by the London Corresponding Society in the 1790s.

He's mapped the pubs on a google map, and so I took the kml file and mapped it on an 18th century map of London (unfortunately only from 1736 - I would love this to be mapped on or on a more contemporary map of London, but none were available on

Here's what it looks like.
John Barrell, in his book The Spirit of Despotism,  has also mapped the spaces of the LCS. But I think the best description of the LCS's reach is still by E. P. Thompson, in the opening section of The Making of the English Working Class:

At one end, the London Corresponding Society reached out to the coffee-houses, taverns and dissenting churches off Piccadilly, Fleet Street and the Strand where the self-educated journeyman might rub shoulders with the printer, the shopkeeper and the engraver or the young attorne…