‘Taken prisoner by his mortal enemies’?:<sup>1</sup> Ruskin, Working-Class Consciousness, and Organized Labour

Stuart Eagles

in After Ruskin

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199602414
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725050 | DOI:
‘Taken prisoner by his mortal enemies’?:1 Ruskin, Working-Class Consciousness, and Organized Labour

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Many of the pioneers of the emerging Labour movement cited the crucial role of Ruskin's writings in the development of their own political and class consciousness. Recognising in Ruskin's descriptions of the ugly industrial landscape the reflection of their own lives, many were inspired into political action by reading him. On a local and national level, particularly among the ethical socialists of the Independent Labour Party, Ruskin served as a uniting influence who provided his politically active working-class disciples with a new language and grammar with which to articulate the emerging politics of the period.

Keywords: Ruskin; Independent Labour Party; working-class politics; class consciousness; municipal; Government; Parliament; Fabian; ethical socialism

Chapter.  13535 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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