Victorian Radicals and Italian Democrats by Marcella Pellegrino Sutcliffe ©Royal Historical Society
From the publishers:
This book provides new insights into the history of Italy's long Risorgimento, by tracing the entanglements of the Mazzinian "international". This informal group of men and women crossed the boundary of the Channel and the boundary of class to speak a common language and share a radical ideal: Giuseppe Mazzini's vision of a unified, republican Italy. Published in the radical press, the exile's writings on democracy, education, association and citizenship inspired both Oxford social reformers and self-improving artisans gathering in provincial reading rooms, co-operative societies, republican clubs and educational institutes: for them republican Italy became a transnational dream. Indeed, when Italy was unified under a constitutional monarch in 1861, British Mazzinians were bitterly disappointed. Setting off for Italy on their first "co-operative tour" in 1888, East London workers embarked on an educational pilgrimage, dotted with Mazzinian landmarks. Despite the fin de siècle crisis, Victorian radicals' enduring faith in Italy's democratic future remained steadfast. Indeed, when Fascists subsequently appropriated Mazzini's national dream, post-Victorian Mazzinians would unequivocally voice their support for Italian anti-Fascists, who championed the principles of global democracy. Drawing on a wide range of material, the author adds a crucial new dimension to the history of Victorian radicalism in Britain, and to the "new history of the Risorgimento".
Marcella Pellegrino Sutcliffe is a Research Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.
Place and publisher: London: Royal Historical Society
Date of publication: 2014
Number of pages: 200